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Litbuzz: Hay Festival

June 16, 2012


Chris Evans said on his BBC Radio 2 Breakfast show: “once you’ve been to the Hay Festival you become a lifelong addict. It’s brilliant!”

The Hay Festival brings together writers from around the world to debate and share stories, celebrating great writing from poets and scientists, lyricists and comedians, novelists and environmentalists.

Founded around a kitchen table in 1987, the festival completed 25 years in 2012. This year’s Hay Festival had a workshop seminar on reading literature which focused on Tahmima Anam’s The Good Muslim.

There was also a gathering to mark Charles Dickens bicentenary with Lucinda Dickens Hawksley creating an intimate portrait of her great-great-great-grandfather, illustrated with personal memorabilia.

The subject of brilliant language came up often in David Crystal’s gripping talk on Charles Dickens. Crystal was praising Dickens’s ability to work with the prefix ‘Un’.

This year’s highlights also included Salman Rushdie, Ian McEwan and Martin Amis.

British poet, playwright, and novelist, Simon Armitage read his new version of the great medieval epic of warfare and politics.

Terry Pratchet, collecting his reward for winning the Wodehouse Prize for Comic Fiction, said: “I feel flabbergasted, absolutely tickety-boo and ready to go down to the Drones Club for a drink, obviously… I have been given an award for being taken not seriously and I am very, very pleased about that.”