My weekend at the Polar Lens
I’ve never been to a French fiction festival before and for the novice it’s pretty eye-opening. A vast hall, the size of an aircraft hangar, full of desks on which the author’s work is displayed. The writer sits, apparently nonchalant, as visitors drift past, picking up a volume to scrutinise before either buying it, or putting it back. Some writers have lines stretching down the hall, others sit checking their phones. But what could be nicer than the chance to promote one’s work, so beautifully packaged by J.C. Lattes? I had some incredible chats with French fans who had apparently read all the Clara Vines that have been translated to date. And after listening to the machine gun delivery of the writers around me, I vowed to do some serious work on my French.