It’s always good to get bit of feverish anticipation going, and there are a lot of booky things to look forward to in 2010. Women on Air are hosting some really big names in the first few months of the year; writers whose books have been top of the reserve lists, popular as book club selections and the subject of enthusiastic word of mouth among readers.
Marina Lewycka, whose books A short history of tractors in Ukrainian and Two caravans are book club staples, will be visiting on the 19th of February. Lewycka is married to a New Zealander but based in the UK.
Xinran always attracts deservedly large audiences at literary festivals and will be at Christchurch Girls’ High School at 7.30 on March 3rd. If you missed her at the 2008 Press Christchurch Writers Festival here’s another chance to see and hear an amazing woman.
Elizabeth Kostova wrote one of my favourite books ever, The historian. Not just because it features libraries and librarians, but because it’s scary and thrilling, literary and readable. She’s here on March 8th and I’m really looking forward to hearing what she thinks of those vampires-come-lately Edward Cullen and Bill Compton, although it might not be a very tactful question – is she bitter that she wrote a vampire story but hasn’t ended up richer than God?
Andrea Levy finishes up this stellar list on March 25th. Her books are the best kind of fiction, books that both reflect experience and expand understanding Small Island won the Orange Prize and told the story of the migration of Levy’s family to London from Jamaica in the 1960’s. The fruit of the lemon is on a smaller scale but it’s my favourite, telling the story of a young woman’s journey back to her parent’s homeland.