Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Making Hay

It’s physically impossible for everyone to attend the 21st annual Hay Festival, one of the top festivals of the written word in the world. The Hay Festival takes place at Hay-on-Wye, on the Welsh side of the Welsh/English border and runs from May 22nd to June 1st. However, the festival’s tie-in to The Guardian -- plus its inherently photogenic nature -- means there’s been a lot of coverage so far. The Guardian’s book blog has been almost all Hay stories all the time for the last several days. Also, residents of the United Kingdom have been enjoying skyARTS’ terrific television coverage.

If you manage to get to the festival -- and even if you don’t -- look for the Hay Festival 21. These are authors Festival staff have chosen to be the least likely ones you’ve heard of:
For our 21st birthday, we’d like to propose 21 writers appearing at Hay who may not be so familiar, but who we think are remarkable. Some are first time writers, some are huge stars in other languages. They’re all cracking reads.
It’s an interesting list, one that includes Yan Lianke; Simon Lewis; Juan Gabriel Vasquez; Tom Rob Smith (is there any party he’s not getting asked to this year?); Jhumpa Lahiri; Michelle de Kretser; Steve Toltz and others.

The Hay 21 responds directly to what the festival their visitors have enjoyed most over the years:
Whenever we survey the audience, one of the things that is always most strongly registered is how much Haygoers value discovering new voices.
A great festival with a lot of super stars. The main Web site is here.


Anonymous crimeficreader said...

Linda, it's also worth noting that many of the events are recorded and available to listen to on the Hay Festival site - for a very small sum.

Wednesday, May 28, 2008 at 10:34:00 AM PDT  

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