BLOG Gwen Davies

NWR Issue 97

xx Minifestest of Women's Writing

Had a good time on Saturday at this new festival for the writing of women from Wales and beyond. It was excellently organised (despite a concurrent beer festival at Chapter) and publicised by the team of Penny Thomas, Carole Burns, Amy Wack and Susie Wild. The audiences were large and the evening 'Salon', featuring the short story with Roshi Fernando and Rachel Trezise, sold out. The main delight for me was chatting in the bookfair section to Roshi about balancing international gigs publicising Bloomsbury's edition of her integrated short fiction collection, Homesick, Read about it in NWR's Online Interview, Roshi Fernando, with developing her debut novel, The Elephant's Wife, an excerpt from which appeared last year in NWR 92, The Elephant's Wife Extract.

Another highlight was the truly delightful and talented (both on-page, onstage and up close and personal) poet Rhian Edwards, author of the Forward-nominated Clueless Dogs whose impromptu performance of 'Outcast Hours', set in an airport, revealed the marvellous stanza that lent the collection its title: Wheel-footed suitcases scurry/about me like clueless dogs,/flip flops tick-tock/on the polished rink of the concourse.

And, despite Nikita Lalwani's first novel, Gifted, being set in Cardiff ('It's about a maths prodigy, because I wanted to be one', Nikita said disarmingly), this Cardiff author had skimmed beneath my radar. I bought both her novels, the latest, about a film documentary looking into an Indian open prison, being The Village. Nikita's reading from a section from this on a revenge attack on a bride, was extremely moving and sharp-eyed on media intrusion.


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