The Edinburgh International Book Festival is, as far as I know, the biggest literary festival in the world, and every year, by sheer indolence rather than design, I manage to miss every single day of it. The last time I went was in 2003, to see Zoe Strachan (no relation) and Colm Toibin. (I remember that Toibin read from his current work in progress about Henry James, the novel that would go on to become ‘The Master’.) This year will be different, as I will only miss 16 days out of 17. Next Monday I’ll be going to see Geoff Dyer in two events – discussing WG Sebald in the afternoon, and talking about ‘the art of the essay’ in the evening. I’ll write about my impressions here, but Martin and I will probably be putting a joint piece together for the next issue of Free State.

Speaking of which, we’re planning to finish the next issue as soon as possible and should hopefully have it ready by the end of the month. As ever, take a look at freestatejournal.wordpress.com for further details.


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