March update

WallsendThis month’s activities have been varied and really rather interesting. Bryan and I did the first two of our talks on Sally Heathcote Suffragette for Read Regional 2015. So that’s Hull and North Tyneside library authorities done – seven more to go! We also took part in the exciting Dotter-based event on Storytelling &Adaptation for Huddersfield Literature Festival -which I’ve already posted about here.

I’ve also done a couple of solo talks at universities. Last year, to my great surprise, I was invited to do the keynote lecture for a Lancaster Lit celeb confconference on Discourse on Literary Celebrity Across Genres. Stevie Marsden, one of the delegates, has just posted this lovely write-up. Some very agreeable post-grads at Queen Mary University had invited me to talk as well, so I’d tried out the lecture with them a couple of weeks previously.

AW_logo_longAnother busy month ahead. So where’s next, you ask? Barcelona, as guests of the Barcelona International Comics Fair. Now that should be nice!

Dance/theatre adaptation of Dotter of her Father’s Eyes

This is so exciting!

On Sunday 15th March, the final event of the Huddersfield Literature Festival showcased the first three completed pieces of music and dance of a work-in-progress: the dance/theatre adaptation of Dotter of Her Father’s Eyes by composer Gary Lloyd and choreographer/performer Bettina Carpi. The extracts were three scenes, clearly distinguishable by the lighting in the photographs below. They depicted Lucia and James Joyce, myself and my father, and Lucia’s incarceration in mental institutions (all partnered by the dancer Christopher Owen). Expect to see this exciting project premiered sometime in 2016. Complete with interviews with Gary, Bettina, Christopher, Bryan and me, this was a pretty unique event for a lit fest. Bryan said “I can’t wait to see the finished performance, complete with sets inspired by the graphic novel illustrations, and a live orchestra providing the music.”
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Photographs by Jonathan Jacob

Sally Heathcote’s Read Regional tour

small Read Regional logoWSPU BADGEWe’re doing nine illustrated talks altogether on Sally Heathcote Suffragette, as part of the Read Regional 2015 campaign throughout Yorkshire and the North East. Six of them are open to the public and here they are:

 

7th March 3pm
Part of an International Women’s Day event at Hull Central Library

23rd April 7pm
Part of a World Book Night event at Teesside University

29th April 7.30pm
Skipton Library

10th June 6pm
Part of the Crossing the Tees Book Festival
Stockton Central Library

16th June 6.30pm
Newcastle City Library

23rd June 2pm
Consett Library

If you’re in the North of England at all, do come along to one of them.

Details are going into my Events page here, which I’ll be updating regularly. You can read my introduction to the book for the promotional campaign here. It’s going to be a busy spring!
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Sally Heathcote Suffragette picked for Read Regional 2015

PrintAs one of ten books selected for this year’s Read Regional campaign, Sally Heathcote Suffragette will be appearing from March to June at libraries and literary festivals in Yorkshire and the North East. That is to say, Bryan and I will be on tour across the region presenting illustrated talks about the book. It’s the first time a graphic novel has been included in the campaign, so we’re delighted to be taking part.

Read Regional is a promotional campaign connecting writers living in Yorkshire and the North East with local readers. It’s run by New Writing North teamed up with the region’s library authorities. Some of the talks for the campaign will be to reading groups and young people invited to libraries from local schools.

Most will be open to the general public, however, including our first, which is part of an International Women’s Day event taking place at Hull Central Library. Other events will be part of World Book Night at Teesside University, Middlesbrough, and the Crossing the Tees Book Festival, Stockton. Details to follow…

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Chinese edition of Dotter of her Father Eyes

Chinese page65 pan3An edition of Dotter of her Father’s Eyes in Simplified Chinese was published last October by Guangxi Normal University Press. I received copies of it this morning. It has a very different look and I’m charmed by it. I don’t read Chinese but, from what I can make out, they haven’t even tried to translate the title, which is probably just as well!

Here it is both with and without its paper band.

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Dotter at Huddersfield lit fest in Storytelling & Adaptation event

There’s an exciting event coming up on 15th March, concluding the Huddersfield Literature Festival. We’ll be taking a break from promoting Sally Heathcote Suffragette (more on that next week…) in order to revisit Dotter of her Father’s Eyes in what promises to be an amazing collaboration:

‘Storytelling & Adaptation: graphic novels, music and dance’ with graphic novelists Mary and Bryan Talbot, choreographer Bettina Carpi and composer Gary Lloyd.
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Tickets are available through the festival website.
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Sally Heathcote Suffragette in Spanish

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Spanish-speaking friends may be interested to know that the Spanish edition of Sally Heathcote Suffragette is scheduled for publication by Ediciones La Cúpola, Barcelona, on the 27th February 2015.

The international interest is very encouraging. Sally recently appeared in a Best-of-Year list on a Singaporean blog The Daily Seni.

 

 

 

Below is what the Spanish publisher’s newsletter has to say about it (in Spanish, obviously):

Bryan y Mary Talbot y Kate Charlesworth - Sally Heathcote, sufra

Púrpura, blanco y verde. Tres colores representan a la National Women’s Social and Political Union, una liga de mujeres extraordinarias que lucharon por conquistar derechos humanos que en el contexto rígido y clasista de la Inglaterra eduardiana brillaban por su ausencia.

Sally Heathcote es una trabajadora doméstica al servicio de Emmeline Pankhurst, una de las fundadoras del movimiento. La proximidad de ese entorno comprometido y militante irá concienciando a la joven en la causa sufragista, que reclama el derecho al voto para las mujeres. La desobediencia civil, la estrategia política, el aprendizaje de la acción directa y la reivindicación a pie de calle van a dictar la trayectoria feminista de Sally, que no dudará en enfocar su vida como una carrera de obstáculos pero también de grandes logros para las generaciones futuras.

Mary M. Talbot, Kate Charlesworth y Bryan Talbot construyen una historia apasionante sobre la lealtad, el coraje y la dignidad de un grupo de mujeres que lograron abrir, en el ámbito laboral, social y educativo, una serie de puertas que habían estado siempre cerradas.

¡A LA VENTA EL 27 DE FEBRERO!

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A return ticket to Grandville, please!

IRue Cortott’s a hard life. We went on a fact- and image-finding mission last week. It began with an early train to King’s Cross in order to catch Eurostar to Paris. About eight and a half hours in total, from our front doorstep to the hotel in Montmartre, with a leisurely lunch in London between trains. Amazing. That even included a half-hour delay because of partial tunnel-closure.

toulouseLautrec'sChat NoirWe stayed at a little hotel on rue Aristide Bruant, just off rue Lepic. It was really handy for the Museum of Montmartre, where there’s currently an exhibition of “The Spirit of Montmartre, 1875-1910″. Lots of old magazine illustrations and some very familiar-looking posters. I’d like to go back when there’s more to see in the surrounding gardens. They still have a productive vineyard there. It being January, the vines didn’t appear to be producing much, however.

 

 

The streets of Montmartre look pretty much the way they did a hundred years ago or more. Compare the old postcard below with the photo Bryan took last week at roughly the same spot. There are a lot of cars now, of course, more street furniture and presumably better street lighting. But it’s recognisably the same place. I love that.

Moulin de la Galette

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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cobblesBryan was, naturally, taking location shots throughout. These are fine-looking cobbles, aren’t they? Look out for them in the next Grandville! It’s highly likely they’ll turn up there.

 

 

We looked around the Carnavalet Museum too, in the 3rd arrondissement. It’s well worth a visit, with a wide range of stuff to pore over, including this lush shop interior designed by Alphonse Mucha for one Georges Fouquet, jeweller. It’s extraordinary. It’s odd to think that it dated very rapidly; it was only in place for a few years. To me it looks timeless.

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One last photo to finish. Passing the Hôtel de Ville we noticed this Charlie Hebdo tribute.
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Christmas in Paradise: Part 4

So, where was I?

We’re on our way home from Australia, breaking the journey by stopping over again in Singapore. A hotel in Bugis this time, further downtown and easy walking distance for the marina area. Close to this little place, actually: Raffles Hotel. We stop off here for an overpriced glass of so-so wine. Check out that traveller’s palm behind Bryan, though! Amazing.
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Singapore3Most of the city’s architecture is concrete and glass barbarity, to my taste, but striking with it. We do have a very specific destination, however, on the recommendation of a friend (Singapore University prof Michelle Lazar). Getting there involves passing through the strangest shopping mall I’ve ever seen.

I’m starting to feel as though I’m on board one of Iain M Banks’ Culture ships; or maybe an Orbital (note for non-SF readers: these are imagined constructions in a post-scarcity utopia). This is a sensation that increases as the day goes on.

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We’re on our way to Singapore’s Gardens by the Bay, an enormous park complex accessed by a footbridge high up over the city traffic.
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And we’re in.
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Gardens by the Bay is open to the public free of charge, but its two enormous conservatories are ticketed. Both are worth a visit, but the Cloud Forest conservatory is breathtaking.
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The contrast between this manicured environment and Fraser Island couldn’t be greater. It certainly has its charms though. Here’s one of the manicurist-gardeners at work.
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I’ve enjoyed putting these posts together; I hope they’ve been an equal pleasure to look at! Here’s two more glam shots of plants to finish! Cor.
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