‘I’m a storyteller and I want to tell my story’. Rushdie comes to Cheltenham to reminisce and reveal
The Autumn season brings with it the arrival of a long awaited
festival – the Cheltenham Literature Festival. With October 2012 proving to be
sunnier than previous years, Montpellier Gardens and the Imperial Square have
been the creative hub of all things political, social, artistic, enjoyable and
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of course literary. For ten days the festival covers a wide range of topics to
inspire and entertain audiences from young ages through to adult.
An event that sold tickets immediately was the discussion
with Salman Rushdie, the great writer of Midnight's Children,
chaired by Erica Wagner, Literary Editor of The Times. Held at Cheltenham Town
Hall's Grand Main Hall - a beautiful Corinthian designed building with plenty
of seating available – the atmosphere was one of eagerness as 6.30pm signalled
the renowned writer on stage.
Rushdie spoke of his experiences from 1989 when his Satanic Verses was released to a captured audience. In
his dialogue with Erica about his new book Joseph Anton, he was both funny and
thought provoking when discussing a decade of his life in hiding. Both honest and humble, he answered the audience's questions
fully and left many with no doubt that this was a magnificent writer who was
dedicated to literature and all that it represents.
'One thing about hitting rock bottom is that you know you don't
want to go back there again,' he said, talking of his times of depression.
'I wouldn't change it though, I am very proud of that book.'
Rushdie is just one of many wonderful guests who have come
to this Cotswolds town for the renowned festival. Tickets are still being sold
at the box office for Cheltenham Literature which ends on the 14th
October. There is a variety of events to
accommodate many interests at bargain prices so don't miss out.