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BEDA Day 19 - It Happened

I missed a day.

But no mind, it’s because I was busy and out having a great time.

I headed into Edinburgh fairly early and met a friend to see Everything Else Happened – an Edinburgh Fringe Festival show that consists of 4 “mini-plays”, based on the short stories of Jonathan Safran Foer. I don’t know why I was hoodwinked into thinking that because it was based on JSF’s work that that would mean that I would like it, but I have to say it wasn’t great. It was well-, if over-acted and the characters were quite sweet, but I have to say I won’t be making that mistake again.

Although I’ve only seen 2 shows at the Fringe it’s a little disappointing for the £12 per-show ticket price (plus 90p booking fee).

Afterwards I headed over to Edinburgh International Book Festival, which I’m quickly realising is a pretty wonderful festival that makes me want to read and discover and explore more than any other I’ve attended (including film ones). I attended Saturday’s Edinburgh World Writers’ Conference event on the topic of Style vs Content. You can read Ali Smith’s brilliant Keynote address here or stream the entire session on YouTube, here.

It was a pretty interesting debate, although it drifted from the topic fairly frequently and the writers had a lot more screen time than the audience of readers. I’m planning to watch the previous day’s session and the ones to come throughout the week so I may post some actual thoughts on this later.

After a break it was time for Junot Diaz and Nathan Englander, which I’ve been excited about since June. Diaz is one of my favourite authors and I can’t wait to read his new short story collection, This is How You Lose Her. He’s a slow writer, a bit of a Jeffrey Eugenides in that sense, and one that I’m sure I’ll be following for many years to come. After returning home I spent about 2 hours telling Evan just about every line that he said, so here’s a recording if you’d like to hear the full hour, which I’ve uploaded to Dropbox.

There are so many amazing nuggets of writing wisdom in there. I was pleasantly surprised to see that they were selling the new book (it’s not released for another 3 weeks), and I brought my copies of Oscar Wao and Drown to be signed too. I picked up a copy of Nathan Englander’s short stories too, which is a new release titled What We Talk About When We Talk About Anne Frank. It’s the first event that I’ve been to for a long time that has recaptured my passion for writing and reading (not that that needed recapturing) - so although it was an expensive day it was a memorable one.

After heading home I met Evan for a quick dinner and a drink, then my sister and brother-in-law (who were staying for the weekend) caught up with us at home for a chat before bed. 

Today we went to see The Wedding Video, which was preeeetty terrible, and felt a bit ill and had a nap. The day seems to have disappeared. Now I’m planning to read some Enduring Love as I’ve picked it for Tuesday book club and am only 50 pages in.

Til tomorrow!

  • 19 August 2012
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