Good old London town for IFFP NIGHT

Well as I said on last post I went to london on thursday ,so mid morning on Thurs I caught train to St Pancres ,I arrived just after on and was met by Simon from the blog inside books but also a good friend I speak to every day on twitter ,We went and had a coffee and I check in my hotel ,whilst Simon return to work .I planned to meet again at London review book shop to have a look at books and grab a coffee .

This is former poet laureate Sir John Betjeman he is in st Pancres station ,he led a campaign to keep its wonderful Victorian facade ,the pub is also called after him .So after checking in and changing into my suit I decide to head towards the LRB sim had said just head down and across from where I was so I did ,but I must not silly me I forgot to bring an umbrella and was caught in to huge down pours on route but as I stumbled turn here and there on my way to LRB  I noticed I was near Lamb Conduit street which is where Persephone books are .

This was near by a nice blue plague ,so I went and visit Persephone books whose books I ve really enjoyed ,I knew I d like to get the Irene Nemirovsky book they published last year ,the short story collection Dimanche .I brought it and some lovely postcards ,the lady that served me was very helpful ,if a little surprised it was a man buying the book for himself .so avoiding another rain shower I hit the british museum and turn down Bury Place home of the LRB ,I went in and started scanning the huge shelves of books ,almost dribbling at the titles ,I saw as I went up and down twice but had promised my self to limit my self to three books whilst away .So i found two I wanted the first was waiting for the wild beasts to vote by Ahmadou Korouma ,the Ivorian writer that Frank Wynne said was his best translation ,the second book was Juan the Landless by Juan Goytisolo the highly acclaimed spanish writer the older Helen lane translation .So book brought

I got a coffee and was meet by Simon again and Rob of Rob around books and his wife ,this was a real thrill the two people who got me into blogging via their blogs ,we all chatted away for a good 45 mins,I did notice they had a display of Peirene books in the cafe which was great ,before Rob his wife and myself decided to make a move to the RIBA headquarters on Portland place where the Independent foreign fiction prize was being held we arrived and grab a glass of the tattinger champagne that was there as they’d sponsored the event a little nervous I sat and after a bit we heard the art council tell us how important the prize was and introduced  Boyd Tonkin the chair of judges and as we were told a man with untouchable knowledge on fiction in translation ,Boyd told us how strong genre translation was at moment mainly due to Nordic crime ,but still need our support for more literary fiction in translation to see the light of day ,he then ran through the books up for prize then the moment came ,I want Kamchatka ,Rob loved Visitation ,but no it was Red April by Santiago Roncagliolo the Peruvian was the youngest ever winner he came up .

He read from the opening of the book in wonderful English ,he then thanked people ,I was struck by one phrase he said ,this win is for the 70.000 people that died in Peru during the troubles .Then it was back to the drinks after during the prize I tweeted and got a tweet from the ladies of Peirene ask where I was so I found Meike and Maddy and spoke to them this was lovely although I trod on Maddy’s foot twice with my huge feet ,I also meet Rosie Goldsmith from BBC but she has also started the European literature network as a follow-up all year round to the yearly European literature night A site and idea worth following she has real passion for literature in translation .It was  a great day I walk back to my hotel with Mr & Mrs rob ,I made some great friends got to take part in a great event and got some great books ,Thanks to Nikesh at booktrust who set this up and to Rob Simon Meike and Maddy who made it a wonderful day there .

44 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. kimbofo
    May 30, 2011 @ 20:30:17

    Sounds like a great trip, Stu. Next time do give me the heads-up, cos I’d happily meet up for a coffee and a trawl of the LRB with you!


    • winstonsdad
      May 30, 2011 @ 20:37:30

      It was Kim I will next time such short time just had time met simon and rob ,but would love have another look at lrb ,altough if I lived there it could very easily break the bank as they’ve so many book I d want ,all the best stu


  2. The Book Whisperer
    May 30, 2011 @ 20:31:09

    Wow, what a fabulous trip to London, Stu! I’m so envious of you meting Meike and Maddy too as I would love to go to one of their events (I get invited but it’s not easy for us norhterners to get down there as you know – maybe one day).

    Glad you had a great time, Stu 🙂


    • winstonsdad
      May 30, 2011 @ 20:38:45

      It is not so easy true Boof I don’t drive so train cost high ,but know been once may go again to other events ,was a great night hope maker up to york at some point ,all the best stu


  3. iamamro
    May 30, 2011 @ 20:42:04

    So glad you had a good trip. Nice purchases too.


  4. parrish
    May 30, 2011 @ 21:04:02

    Looks like you a great time & in the process helped promote a worthy cause, can’t be better than that, great post & not sure if my willpower would have been as strong as yours in the LRB.


  5. Lisa Almeda Sumner
    May 30, 2011 @ 22:16:19

    Stu’s Oddyssey! Thanks for a delightful post, filled with chuckles (so now we know you have large feet;)). It sounds like a great literary day.


  6. Anbolyn
    May 31, 2011 @ 01:11:06

    What a great night and a great opportunity to meet up with friends! I definitely want to read all three books you mentioned in the post, especially the winner, but my library doesn’t carry very much translated fiction. I’ll have to wait until I can purchase copies.


  7. amymckie
    May 31, 2011 @ 01:14:44

    Thanks for the update on your time in London, sounds like you had a fantastic time!


  8. Rob
    May 31, 2011 @ 06:38:09

    A great write up Stu. Sounds like you had a great time. I wish I was there 🙂

    Seriously though it was an absolute pleasure meeting you too (and Simon), and on behalf of myself and Mrs. Rob, I’d like to thank you from the bottom of my heart for putting a little sunshine into a very wet day.


  9. Lisa Hill
    May 31, 2011 @ 09:11:45

    Oh Stu, you lucky man! It sounds like you had a great time and yes, I know exactly what you mean about the LRB bookshop – it took a lot of self-control not to blow the entire holiday budget on my three previous visits. London is my absolute favourite city in the world, but alas, our next trip overseas is to Russia, and London, no matter how I try to tweak it, is not exactly on the way. I wonder if there is an English bookshop in Moscow?
    Lisa (green with envy)


    • winstonsdad
      Jun 01, 2011 @ 22:21:13

      Hope you do sure there will be with all great russian lit ,know they use do a lot of english in soviet era ,the lrb is wonderful isn’t it a real treasure trove ,all the best stu


  10. Sarah
    May 31, 2011 @ 10:32:57

    Sounds like you had a great time, and I did enjoy reading your post. Congratulations on sticking to your book buying resolution. A self-imposed limit does encourage one to pick wisely! Enjoy your choices 🙂


  11. Maddy from Peirene
    May 31, 2011 @ 10:57:46

    So lovely to meet you too – and really nice to know you’re spotting our books wherever you go. (Ps – feet have entirely recovered, apols for putting them in your way!) X


  12. Gavin
    May 31, 2011 @ 13:17:41

    It sounds like you had a wonderful trip, Stu. The LRB and the Independent Foreign Fiction Prize Presentation in one go? I am green with envy!


  13. Vishy
    May 31, 2011 @ 14:42:15

    Thanks for the wonderful report of your time in London at the Independent awards, Stu! It is wonderful that some great books are coming out in translation! I was talking to one of my friends recently (she is Dutch) and she recommended a Dutch book called ‘The Dinner’ by Herman Koch and I have been searching for it ever since, but it looks like it is not available in translation. I was then thinking about all the wonderful books which are not available in translation and so are not accessible to readers who read in English.


    • winstonsdad
      Jun 01, 2011 @ 22:16:25

      There are loads books unavailable we tend to translate the least out french spainsh and german ,the book may be at some point if writer wins prize or if a smaller publisher picks it up Vishy don’t lose hope it may if I hear of it coming out will let you know ,all the best


  14. Valerie
    May 31, 2011 @ 15:56:15

    what a fantastic experience and meet-ups you had, Stu! If I ever get back to London (was there in 2000) I’ll have to try for a more literary experience. Back then, we only did the basic sightseeing (Big Ben, Tower of London, etc).


    • winstonsdad
      Jun 01, 2011 @ 22:10:13

      Hope you do ,I think it is a great city for books and experiences I ve loads I want to see so may keep going love the blue plagues there great ,all the best stu


  15. lizzysiddal
    May 31, 2011 @ 17:30:28

    It sounds like I’d better leave the credit card at home when I visit the LRB Bookshop next month …….


  16. gina
    Jun 01, 2011 @ 03:22:08

    This is great, Stu! I love reading about book bloggers who meet in real life. I don’t think I knew that you and Rob had become friends through your blogs and Twitter first. You seem to get on so well–I thought for sure that you had some established relationship IRL. So glad that the meeting was great AND that it was for the IFFP!


  17. Violet
    Jun 01, 2011 @ 10:58:38

    So glad you had a great time with old friends, and made new ones. I love that you are so passionate about translated fiction. THIS is what book blogging is all about. It’s not about following “The Blogging Rules” and worrying about how many comments we get. It’s about people writing about books and genres they love, and sharing that love with others who GET IT. Lovely post, Stu.


    • winstonsdad
      Jun 01, 2011 @ 22:07:00

      It is very much so ,I loved meeting people like me with passion ,I think that is best bit of blogging the chance to meet people and to pass on your passion ,which I always try to do ,all the best stu


  18. JoV
    Jun 01, 2011 @ 16:29:21

    You look like you have an awesome day out Stu. Where can I see Dorothy Sayer’s old place in London?

    Translated fiction, BBC, champagne, bookish talks, what an awesome day!


    • winstonsdad
      Jun 01, 2011 @ 22:05:28

      The dorothy L sayer sign is very near beas of blooms bury if you walk past beas heading towards british musuem its of on your right very near persephone as well ,not sure of street as I l not good with street names ,all the best stu


  19. Kinna
    Jun 02, 2011 @ 22:59:56

    An absolutely lovely day you had, Stu. Thanks for the update.


  20. pburt
    Jun 05, 2011 @ 21:22:04

    What a wonderful recap – thanks for sharing your day.


  21. sakura
    Jun 06, 2011 @ 15:37:52

    What a lovely day you had, Stu (except for the sudden downpour). The LRB bookshop is wonderful, isn’t it? As is Persephone. I think that area is still one of my favourites in London.


  22. eurolitnet
    Jun 22, 2011 @ 13:24:32

    Thank you for the mention! The website is just starting off, but interesting things have started to happen, so please keep an eye out!


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