The Autumn season brings with it the arrival of a long awaitedfestival – the Cheltenham Literature Festival. With October 2012 proving to besunnier than previous years, Montpellier Gardens and the Imperial Square havebeen the creative hub of all things political, social, artistic, enjoyable andof course literary. For ten days the festival covers a wide range of topics toinspire and entertain audiences from young ages through to adult.
An event that sold tickets immediately was the discussionwith Salman Rushdie, the great writer of Midnight's Children,chaired by Erica Wagner, Literary Editor of The Times. Held at Cheltenham TownHall's Grand Main Hall - a beautiful Corinthian designed building with plentyof seating available – the atmosphere was one of eagerness as 6.30pm signalledthe renowned writer on stage.
Rushdie spoke of his experiences from 1989 when his Satanic Verses was released to a captured audience. Inhis dialogue with Erica about his new book Joseph Anton, he was both funny andthought provoking when discussing a decade of his life in hiding. Both honest and humble, he answered the audience's questionsfully and left many with no doubt that this was a magnificent writer who wasdedicated to literature and all that it represents.
'One thing about hitting rock bottom is that you know you don'twant to go back there again,' he said, talking of his times of depression.
'I wouldn't change it though, I am very proud of that book.'
Rushdie is just one of many wonderful guests who have cometo this Cotswolds town for the renowned festival. Tickets are still being soldat the box office for Cheltenham Literature which ends on the 14thOctober. There is a variety of events toaccommodate many interests at bargain prices so don't miss out.