Sunday, 9 March 2014

The LitFest That Was

I suppose someone, somewhere will be expecting me to have something to say about the Emirates Airline Festival of Literature.

It was nice.

Deon Meyer and Simon Kernick were great company (as were their lovely 'others') and we chatted outside the 'Green Room' for a good while before our session, which ended up more like a conversation than a moderated grilling, involving the audience throughout, which was a bit bouncy to manage but I was more than pleased with the end result - an intimate and very funny session with two seriously talented best selling thriller writers and me.

The session on Spies, Conspiracy Theories and Censorship was enjoyable for me, at least: I don't think we broke any new ground or established any guiding principles of freedom, but it was diverting stuff. I hadn't expected us to be asked to give an 'Arab style' intro of 8 minutes each on our take on the topic and ended up coming out strongly in favour of the Emiratis in the whole censorship debate, which must have surprised a few people but certainly delighted the chaps from the National Media Council.

And then we nipped off to Vista for a few Martinis. Very well done, as always, but I did think Dhs50 for a Martini was a tad steep. Maybe I'm just old and out of date.

They blew my invite to the author's Welcome Dinner so I missed that - and was too busy at the Martinis to go to the Farewell Dinner. I forgot to sign the canvas they traditionally put up for various creative types to scrawl on. I chatted to some people and spent some productive and enjoyable time with various literary types. I sold some books and even signed some. I met a couple of 'fans' which was glorious.

And that's that, really. Bof, as they say in France, bin.
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