by Simon Trewin at the International Festival Of Authors in Toronto
I am exhausted - the programme is punishingly good here but VERY demanding! All those parties, all that food, all that great conversation! I was at a big party given by Iris and her team at HarperCollins last night and, looking around the room, I realised almost everyone I had met this week was present and it felt like that scene at the end of Monty Python's The Meaning Of Life where Graham Chapman dies and arrives at heaven to be confronted by every single character we have met in the film. Happily though I was still very much alive. Just.
Amongst others it was great to catch up with Samantha Haywood's amazing client Miranda Hill whose short story collection SLEEEPING FUNNY is a must-read for next year and is obviously being published with huge love and ambition by Kristin and her team at Random House. In addition to a career as an author and in the television industry she has also launched a great initiative called Project Bookmark Canada, an organization that installs plaques bearing text from stories and poems in the exact physical locations where the literary scenes take place. It is such a simple but startlingly effective idea. Check out the Anne Michael's bookmark from Fugitive Pieces which Miranda and her team installed in College and Manning Streets, Toronto.
I would love to see this project coming to the U.K. I can imagine London alive with quotes from Dickens, Edinburgh ringing to tourists reading Ian Rankin nervously and the Lake District awash with Wordsworth. I am off to wander lonely as a cloud now through some Toronto bookstores to see how Canadians market their books. Back soon.
Photo credit : Simaron ( modified)