Essex Book Festival ‘Meet the Neighbours’…
The Essex Book Festival is in full swing and I’m delighted to say I will be taking part in their Meet The Neighbours Polish-themed event tomorrow at Harlow Library, Cross Street, from 3.45pm-4.45pm (for tickets click here).
Crime author Aga Lesiewicz and I will be in conversation about my novel ‘Are My Roots Showing?’ The book is primarily a comedy about a British Pole – a bit like myself – who goes to live and work in Warsaw and explore her Polish roots. As relationships both new and old form and develop, she learns about herself, her family and their past. The Yorkshire Post called it a ‘heart-warming, funny and often very moving’ – read more reviews here.
I always enjoy live author events, possibly because of my theatre and stand up comedy background. You never quite know what’s going to happen. At one event, people started to share movingly about their family’s experiences in World War II. Speaking for myself, I feel that what happened to my mother in particular is never far from my mind and I think that one reason I wrote my book is that I want to pass that story on – history embedded in fiction…
What else is on…
At 1pm in Harlow library, Wioletta Gregg, longlisted this week for the international Man Booker Prize award will be talking to Sarah Perry about her beautiful book that I have just finished reading called ‘Swallowing Mercury’. It’s so vivid and evocative and reading it transported me right back to my childhood, my parents and a Poland of yesteryear. It’s stunning.
Also at 1pm, playwright Nicola Werenowska’s going to be doing a collaborative theatre piece about the effects of war and displacement – a theme I’m very interested in.
At 2.15pm, crime writers Piotr Tarczynski & Jacek Dehnel will be in conversation with fellow crime writers Nicci French (Nicci Gerrard and Sean French) about their book ‘The Mystery of Helcel House’.
From 12pm -4pm you can immerse yourself in family activities such as Polish egg-painting – something I loved to do as a child with my mum using molten wax and plant dyes (using onion skins mainly, and beetroot!) There’ll also be a performance by a pupils from the Polish Saturday School – again, something I did as I grew up – somewhat reluctantly I have to say. (During one performance I had to dress up as a toadstool).
All of Essex Book Festival’s events can be found here and the festival runs until the end of March. Events have been across 45 venues and involved more then 200 writers – amazing!