It’s my Double happiness time! I get to blog on another literary festival and it’s The Press Christchurch Writers Festival right here in Christchurch. I’ve been on the blog team for this event twice before and each time the earth moved.
Third time lucky.
It was only after I’d submitted my selections of preferred events (from my very readable and striking lime green Festival booklet) that I realised I’d chosen only easy-on-the-eye male authors who’d apparently all been born under wandering stars – seems this festival is about the importance of Place for me. See for yourself:
- Aaron Smith: Shanti Bloody Shanti (An Indian Odyssey)
- John Lanchester: Capital (London) and Fragrant Harbour (Hong Kong)
- Chris Cleave: Incendiary and The Other Hand (Great Britain)
- Joe Bennett: Double Happiness – How Bullshit Works (the whole world)
There’s no way I could live down a totally male line-up, so I added some ladies to the mix:
- Laurence Fearnley: The Hut Builder (New Zealand high country)
- Kate Grenville: The Secret River (Australia)
The main character in The Secret River gets to the heart of the importance of Place in our lives with this quote:
A chaos opened up inside him, a confusion of wanting. No one had ever spoken to him of how a man might fall in love with a piece of ground … He had not known until this minute that it was something he wanted so much.
How about you, do you have a place that you’ve fallen in love with? And when can we expect to see the book?
I have to say straight off that I’m intrigued by the juxtaposition of the title and subtitle of the Joe Bennett book. Is he going against the grain of books like The Happiness Project, NYT bestseller and certainly not alone in mining that particular self-help vein?
I can recommend John Lanchester as a devastatingly funny myth buster. My favourite of his was “Whoops! Why everyone owes everyone and no one can pay”.
And the importance of place? Funny how that has an evocativeness and immediacy that bypasses the thought process. What made me think of this was opening the latest copy of House and Leisure and being immediately drawn to photos of a house. And, guess what, it was a Berea house just like mine!
Double Happiness is apparently a brand of cigarette for sale in China! Have you tried the Happiness Project (seems like a lot of hard work to me!). I’ve just bought Whoops for Greg, to say thanks for being such a great support while I am so festival focussed. I will read it as well. But I am loving Capital! How great it is that the home you love is the home that you have! Should I come over for the 101st or leave it for later in the year is now my big pre-occupation!