The 2008 Adelaide Writers’ Week has wrapped up. The crowds were slightly smaller on Friday – probably because most attendees were recovering from heat stroke and dehydration from the four preceding days – the mercury rose to well above 35 degrees (well over 40 degrees in the author tents) on each of these days.
In spite of the heat, the organisers must be mightily chuffed because the crowds were huge (an estimated 107,000 for the entire week), and most of the authors have proclaimed their love of Adelaide and their intention to return for future events.
Highlights and lowlights of the week included:
– Geraldine Brooks’ launch of People of the Book – her book outsold all others at the festival – and her ‘meet the author’ session had most people spellbound.
– Germaine Greer’s contempt for male Shakespearean scholars and the fact that copies of The Female Eunuch sold out again…
– Popular author events for husband and wife pair Siri Hustvedt and Paul Auster, whose New York flair was well received by the crowd
– The launch of His Illegal Self by Australian literary heavyweight Peter Carey
– Ian McEwan reading from his new work-in-progress book – a book for which he is yet to conceive an ending
– The sprinkler gremlin that rubbed out the ‘M’s in the book tent – all the McEwans, McDonalds and Maloufs were waterlogged and unsaleable….
– British historian Richard Davenport-Hines declaring Adelaide the best literary event that he had ever been to.
I’m already looking forward to next year’s festival – hopefully it won’t be so hot…