News: Hay Festival of Literature Events – Maggie Shipstead


So yesterday my friend Helen and I attended the Hay Festival for the first time. The weather, the atmosphere and whole event was superb. It was excellently organised and a great day out for the whole family. It was brilliant to see a huge queue of children outside the book shop waiting to have their books signed.

Our first event at 11.30am was the author Maggie Shipstead talking with Allison Pearson. We’d not heard of either of these ladies but it was Seating Arrangementsa really nice opener to our Hay day.

Maggie’s debut novel Seating Arrangements was the hot topic of conversation. Originally starting out as a short story this novel won the 2012 Dylan Thomas Prize. The book is about a family wedding set in New England over the course of 3 days. Maggie gave us a short reading from the novel highlighting the lead character’s desire for sons when he has only daughters.

Maggie also discussed her education, being accepted onto the Iowa Writers’ Workshop and being taught by British novelist Zadie Smith and gave us a querky insight into Zadie’s headscarf!

Maggie’s next novel is about ballet called Astonish Me.

This was a really friendly interview and Allison Pearson obviously really enjoyed and recommends this book so I purchased a signed copy of Seating Arrangements  from the Hay Festival bookshop so look out for the review soon.

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