Monday, 19 August 2013

Laurie Graham (“our most underrated novelist” – Libby Purves) is appearing at next month's Chiswick Book Festival

Here’s what Libby Purves wrote in this Saturday’s Daily Telegraph (here):

Laurie Graham – our most underrated novelist – is a favourite holiday companion. This year, it was The Future Homemakers of America, one of the funniest, most touching tributes to women’s lives. I also reread my beloved Mr Starlight. Then her most recent one, A Humble Companion, which brought into fresh perspective both ordinary and royal lives in the 60 troubled years that led to Victoria’s accession.

There are links to Laurie Graham's two blogs in the right-hand column of this page. The first is to her Sunday Growler blog (here), which is (a) very funny (b) conservative (c) spot on about everything, and (d) full of things I wish I’d written. The other link to her blog about a writer’s life (here), which brings back many memories, good and bad, for this former novelist.

Laurie will be appearing at 1.30pm on Sunday 15th September. Here’s what the festival programme has to say:
1.30pm: A Humble Companion in Gin Lane: Scandal in Georgian England
Caricaturist and author Adrian Teal exposes the often debauched lives of real 18th century celebrities in his popular publication The Gin Lane Gazette, and Mrs Nellie Buzzard, A Humble Companion to HRH Princess Sophie, will appear with coachman Dick Morphew, by permission of their creator Laurie Graham who will also be on hand to assist the riotous proceedings. Supported by Hendrick’s Gin.
The full programme can be found here.

Apart from Laurie Graham, other speakers/performers include Lucy Worsley, Max Hastings and Philip Kerr, the creator of a brilliant series of novels about Berlin detective Bernie Gunther, set in the ‘30s and ‘40s.

The whole shebang (apart from an event at Chiswick House on Thursday night) takes place at St Michael and All Angels Church, Bedford Park, which is where we worship, and which is well worth a visit – especially as we’ve just had a magnificent new Swiss organ installed. In case you imagine a book festival in a church, largely organised by members of the congregation might be a rather worthy, amateurish affair, I can assure you it’s an extremely professional, packed and star-studded event – Haye-on-Wye, eat your heart out.

My wife is in charge of cakes and is also busy hand-crafting gifts for all the contributors. (All I’m doing is coming up with the questions for a James Bond quiz.)

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