The Guardian Hay Festival in the Rear View Mirror
Last year I enjoyed blogging about my virtual experience of the Guardian Hay Festival. It has already taken place this year, but those of us who missed it in person can still enjoy it online. The Guardian still has lots of material – text, photos, audio and video – on its site for the event. The text offerings include a brief wrap-up piece, Best of the Hay Festival 2010. Hay is more than author readings. It’s also about book-buying, as driven home by the photo essay Used books, new books, looking for the perfect book … and the videos representing the Hay Festival Bookshop Challenge, including this one featuring Val McDermid. Continuing the video theme is a section of short author interviews, such as this one with Alexander McCall Smith, on Sky Arts’ The Book Show. The others in the series include McDermid, Simon Schama, Audrey Niffenegger, Bill Bryson and more. There is another photo essay in which festival-goers answer the question What Are You Reading at the Hay Festival? An extensive section of audio Haycasts features author interviews from this year, 2009 and 2008. I was happy to see one particular video from The Book Show that exemplifies the concept of Living in More Than One World: an interview with Brian May, the guitarist of Queen, who also happens to have a Ph.D. in astrophysics and is an author. The video snippet describes the recent book he co-authored with Elena Vidal, A Village Lost and Found. The Hay Festival material serves as a reminder that the extensive Guardian Books site is always worth a virtual visit. You can easily lose yourself in new and older articles, reviews, blogs, special features, audio and video. And if you still want more of the Hay virtual experience, go back to the Guardian’s main page for Hay, to access links for its coverage going back to 2006.