Thursday, January 30, 2014

Hay Festival: Gael Garcia Bernal, John Boyne & David Foenkinos

Haven't actually seen any events yet since they only start this afternoon but a few days of literary adventure have been on my agenda since I arrived on Tuesday.

First, the location: what an amazing little town. Well, at least the central part (a UNESCO world heritage site for all of its colonial architecture) is little. Full of so much life, too: cars racing by narrow cobblestoned streets, horses pulling carriages, colorful Cuban women in floral skirts and hair wraps selling fruit on the street.

It's hot. Very hot. But when I see pictures of images of snow falling in the North, I want to jump for joy for
Bernal talks about his career
getting a brief respite from it all.

Today I am seeing American writer John Boyne (Irish author of The Boy in the Striped Pajamas) as well as an event this evening with Mexican actor Gael García Bernal.

So far, it's been lunches, meetings and sipping Corona outside in stone courtyards with a sea breeze blowing in. The nights here are extraordinary: the city almost complete shuts down so the streets are empty except for an occasional bar spilling out onto the sidewalk or a strolling band serenading tourists with quiet music.

Foenkinos talks about his latest novel
I ran into French writer David Foenkinos last night walking down a quiet street and said hello briefly. He's doing several events here along with French writers Emmanuel Carrère and Virginie Despentes. Also looking forward to hearing Irvine Walsh being interviewed by Eleanor Wachtel (who, naturally, will be at Blue Met in the spring, as usual).

I'd really like to see Alfonso Zapico, the graphic novelist/cartoonist and author of a graphic treatment of James Joyce's Dublin. Unfortunately, my Spanish is only so-so still so not sure how much of it I will miss (and there are two other events on at the same time I want to see: always the problem with good festivals!).

And lots more still! To think, the events haven't even officially started yet...

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