On the second day of the Festival, I began the morning in Rome with Virginia Bailey, author of Early One Morning. I have to confess I had already read the novel which I bought at the book launch in London. Just saying.Virginia Bailey talks like and Italian, with her hands. The novel is set in 1943 and 1970’s and unusually those parts in the 40’s are in the present tense and those in the 70’s in the past tense. Bailey’s explanation was of giving an immediacy to the earlier events.
Virginia Bailey talks like and Italian, with her hands. The novel is set in 1943 and 1970’s and unusually those parts in the 40’s are in the present tense and those in the 70’s in the past tense. Bailey’s explanation was of giving an immediacy to the earlier events.
Although she thought there were similarities with the modern crisis in the Middle East she said she found it difficult to process current events and preferred to look for parallels.
She liked to move between locations because she likes to step into a different world and also it enables her to make the familiar exotic.
I enjoyed the novel and would recommend as well as her debut book African Junction.
The weather was not so warm so I gave up any idea of a swim and headed to the Festival Marquee for a cup of coffee and a browse at the book stall.
Then into the Public Hall to see Alexandra Harris being interviewed by Rachel Cooke about her book ‘WeatherLand.’ Harris is such an exuberant personality, confessing she came to Budleigh as a child for holidays and how she would lie on the beach looking at the pines against a blue sky and imagining she was in the Med where most of her friends were. She said the idea for the book came when she was working on her biography of Virginia Woolf, particularly Orlando and how Woolf uses shifts in the air as a way of being. In literature, the weather is a powerful indicator of mood. She gave examples such as it is always winter in Anglo Saxon poetry and how Shakespeare changes the idea of weather away from the Gods to the emotions of the characters. I can’t do justice to the range of authors she cited who use weather to indicate mood. Perhaps just one more – Wuthering Heights is a one great meteorological disturbance. I had to buy the book and will look forward to reading it.
Finally Juliet Nicolson in conversation with Carol Ackroyd about her book A House Full of Daughters. She is the granddaughter of Vita Sackville West and she has used family archives to tell the story of her mother, grandmother and great grandmother as well as her own. It is a family with all the glitter of the wealthy and the important but there are hidden secrets of illicit relationships.