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This report is taken from PN Review 195, Volume 37 Number 1, September - October 2010.

Letter from Wales Sam Adams

The Hay Festival enjoyed its best weather for years. There was but one damp day, when the long grass in the car park field soaked feet in open-toed sandals and wet trouser bottoms, and most people wore or carried raincoats. That was the day we chose to visit. Notwithstanding the grey skies, festival-goers seemed to be having a good time. Even those disposed to be churlish will admit the event is well organised, the extensive site skilfully signposted, the variety of provision impressive. The principal bookshop is thronged at those intervals in the day’s programme planned to allow readers to buy more books and, for a moment or two, actually get close to writers. Purchasers forego a morning coffee queuing to have the book signed. This is good for business. The tent next door displaying books from Welsh publishers had only a few visitors, but that may have had something to do with the time of the day, for there were more events about writing from Wales this year than in any previous in my recollection. The choice of readings, lectures, discussions is vast and eclectic. We saw the art historian Martin Kemp on the role of science in the highly complex and still risky business of artistic attribution; the eminent Welsh historian and broadcaster John Davies entertaining a large, packed auditorium with a survey of The Making of Wales, first published in 1993 and now revised and updated as part of the 25th Anniversary celebrations of CADW, the ...


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