Damian Barr, Scottish journalist and author, host this event in the spectacular Hendrick’s Carnival of Knowledge. The formidable writers Janice Galloway and Maggie O’Farrell joined him for a two-hour long Literary Salon filled with exclusive readings, entertaining interviews and tasty gin and tonics.
After all the guests had received their complimentary drink, Damian Barr himself officially sparked off the event, reading from his newly published memoir, Maggie and Me. Barr talked with strength and confidence, sharing with the audience how it was to be a gay boy growing up in Scotland during the 1980s under Margaret Thatcher. Being the son of a Catholic mother and Protestant father, Barr talked about how he struggled to find his place in the Scottish countryside and how his own relationship with Maggie both affected and was determined by the people around him.
The idea of not really fitting into your own time is a recurrent theme amongst all three of the authors taking part in the Literary Salon this evening. After finishing his reading, Damian Barr took the role of host, introducing Galloway in turn. Reading from her own memoirs, she told a strong story about her own childhood and adolescence, and how the swinging 60s never really reached the outskirts of Scotland. Following this engaging performance, Maggie O’Farrell took to the stage, reading from her new novel, Instructions for a Heatwave. Both women spoke with warmth, humour and confidence, and were more than willing to answer questions from the audience after they had finished reading from their respective works.
The fact that the Literary Salon is held in what can only be described as a rather small parlor adds to the intimacy of the event. The three authors on stage clearly enjoy each others’ company and both the readings and the subsequent interviews are carried out with ease and confidence. This makes for a truly enjoyable event, packed with warmth and humour.