See you at Hay Festival!
We are delighted to be back at Hay Festival again this year on Friday 2nd June for our event with Elif Shafak, Mariella Frostrup and Kit De Waal. Our Trustee, Pam Dix, is chairing the event, and below she shares a bit more about what to expect.
Hay Festival is a great opportunity for like-minded individuals to come together to share our passion for books and reading, and this year is no different. I am thrilled to be chairing the 2023 Book Aid International event at the festival, titled Sheltering in Stories – where we’ll be discussing how books provide solace and strength in times of uncertainty and upheaval.
On the 2nd June at 1pm, I’ll be joined on stage by Elif Shafak, Mariella Frostrup and Kit De Waal – three female writers whose contribution to the world of literature has been immense. They will be sharing their own experiences of books and reading in times of uncertainty, and I am looking forward to being able to discuss how the issues we are currently faced with in the world have an impact on their writing.
My thanks to the three of them for giving their time to this discussion and for their support for Book Aid International.
The subject for this year’s event seems so timely and topical. Political, social and economic upheavals have meant that more people than ever are displaced and seeking shelter – and this is at a time when the repercussions of the Covid-19 pandemic on education and society are only now becoming clear.
It is during times like these that the need for books is more important than ever.
To help those left behind educationally, to provide comfort, solace and hope for those displaced. With increasing numbers of adults and children without this basic access to books and libraries, Book Aid International’s work is more important than ever.
For me, my working life has been motivated by two concerns – the power of books and reading to change lives and the need to provide equality of access to books if we are to live in a fair and humane world.
Through my work in Kenya and through IBBY’s Children in Crisis fund, I have had direct experience with projects that seek to make a difference, to give children, young people and their parents some access to the joy and pleasures of reading, especially in times of crisis.
I will always be inspired by the books I read – to be more reflective, to be a listener and to be a collector of stories. At times of stress and turmoil, my go-to books are always detective fiction, particularly those in series. There is something about escaping into a mystery in a predictable context that provides the solace and escape I need.
It’s this escapism and our shared connection to the power books have, that I am so looking forward to discussing at Hay Festival this June.
Header image credit: Adam Tatton-Reid.
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