Book Swap guest: John Harding

It feels like about a billion years since we first told you about the Firestation Book Swap, opening the Festival. (OK, it probably doesn’t seem that long ago to you, but we’re working on a new theory that time stretches when you’re filling in all the forms needed to run an 8 day event.)

The Book Swap has two hosts – in our case, Scott Pack and Robert Hudson – and two guest authors. We’ve already told you about Evie Wyld, so now let us introduce you to John Harding.

Actually, he might not need introducing. His first novel, What We Did on Our Holiday, was a bestseller and became a one-off film on ITV with Pauline Collins and Roger Lloyd-Pack. His most recent, Florence and Giles, is narrated by a 12 year old girl at the end of the 19th century, living in a crumbling mansion, who’s convinced their new governess is bent upon doing harm. It’s regularly compared to Henry James’s The Turn of the Screw, and here’s John reading from the start of the book:

In between these books came One Big Damn Puzzler, about an elderly South Pacific tribesman trying to translate Hamlet and an American lawyer with OCD; and While the Sun Shines, a tragi-comedy about a man whose life is spiralling out of control. We reckon that’s a wide enough choice to suit most people!

This isn’t our final word on the Book Swap – we’ll be blogging more about it soon…

The Firestation Book Swap comes on tour to St Swithun’s on Friday 9th September – read more on the events page.

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