When I was sent the manuscript entitled Pearl, by Siân Hughes, I was enchanted. Hughes’ writing is flawless, like the privy pearl without a spot; I hardly changed a word. She captures the spirit of the original and shows us consolation through legend, nursery rhymes, folk songs, as a daughter seeks to understand the reasons for the disappearance of her mother.
The Frankfurt Book Fair has existed in its current form since 1949, but literature was fundamental to German culture for centuries before that. Gutenburg lived in nearby Mainz, so this area has been a hub of mass market information provision for nearly 600 years. Indeed a recreation of his workshop, featuring a man dressed in an approximation of what he might have worn, was a much-photographed exhibit this year.
A trip to Riambel in Mauritius to meet author Priya Hein. Ananda Devi, Lindsay Collen, Shenaz Patel, Barlen Pyamootoo, and Caroline Laurent, also all came to the literary festival at Le Trou D’Eau Douce, (TDD for short) the focal point of commissioning editor Susie Nicklin’s visit.
“Small women are often underestimated, especially while young. This was the case for Annette Beaumanoir, who was born in Brittany in 1923 to unmarried parents, and who, at the age of nineteen, rescued two Jewish children from deportation to the concentration camps despite knowing her communist comrades forbade such unilateral decision-making. Throughout her life she championed causes, resistance and independent thought, and was frequently underestimated.”
“I’ve always enjoyed my visits to Brussels, although I can never get the topography straight in my head. Perhaps it’s because I’ve stayed in different hotels and districts; maybe it’s because of the changes in elevation, with unexpected hills leading one up, down and around intriguing corners . . .”