Thursday, 24 September 2009

Lancaster Literature Festival

It's festival season. And at Litfest in Lancaster we're gearing up for two weeks of literature readings and performances.

There's a few writer's I'm particulary looking forward to seeing/hearing. One is Jenn Ashworth. Whose work Flax has already published as a poster. She's coming to read from her novel, A Kind of Intimacy.

The main character of which is Annie. She is a strange woman, who sees the world through a very particular filter.

I like her. I like her vulnerability, her honesty (if deluded) and her total insensitivity. She does not collude with our PC obsessed world.

I know people who struggled with her as a central character. Who didn't like her. Who found her obsessive, nasty and way too much.

But what's so fabulous about reading someone like Annie is you can just close the book when you need a breather. She isn't my neighbour. She's not going to gatecrash my barbeque. And then, when you've remembered this and relaxed again, you can relocate the page and read on with wide-eye horror/delight/dismay. Oh the voyeuristic joys of books.

And, she isn't just as I describe her. What makes her such a great character and narrator (shortlisted for the Not The Booker Prize) is is all I've said, and more: unintentionally comic, sensitive, lonely and hopeful for starters.

A very different person from her creator Jenn, which is also a delight. Hearing and watching Jenn read from the novel gives an odd sensation of witnessing alien possession or as if you're looking through double glazing and seeing what's going on inside the window at the same time as catching the reflection of the external world.

Jenn's reading on Friday 23rd October.

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