Monday, 8 June 2015

Baileys Women's Prize for Fiction 2015 Readings

Greenacre Book Club
Meral Mehmet:

It was great to be given a free ticket and my ‘one other’ also enjoyed the evening too.  The evening comprised of readings of sections from the books shortlisted for the Bailey’s prize.  All but Ann Tyler, who was unable to attend but had her friend Stanley Tucci, film star etc reading on her behalf, were there and read extracts. For my part, having been quite critical about the book we read – The Paying Guest – Sarah Waters read well and the voice of Frances was much more sympathetic than had come across on the page.

It is always exciting to put faces to the names of authors that most of us will have read and especially interesting to hear how they translate the voice of their characters and where they would put the accent on to a sentence etc which is more likely to give you a view of something you might not have picked up.  Both me and my friend were especially impressed with Ali Smith, someone we had both been meaning to read but not got round to – she was extremely effervescent and captivated the audience not just with her story but with her personality. The evening was chaired by and the individual authors were introduced by Shami Chakrabarti, director of Liberty who added to the air of feminist strength, intelligence and humor. Kate Mosse was also there at the beginning.

It was great to be in a crowd so evidently there to celebrate women’s writing and to hear the authors’ responses to questions asked – some of which were a bit incoherent – and to hear how they cope with aspects of their craft.

As you will all know by now Ali Smith did indeed win and my friend and I are now determined to read her book.  As if the evening wasn’t enough, we were all given a freebie in the form of a linen bag with the 2015 Bailey’s Prize for fiction, a book mark with the same logo and a miniature bottle of the beverage. What’s not to like?

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