Kafez

Literary

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Location: Dublin, Republic of, Ireland

Saturday, 1 December 2007

I am in Singapore for a week before returning to Europe. I'm staying at a hotel on Orchard Road. and attending the international writers' festival as an audience. I was surprised on having drawn the curtain where I am on the 8th floor, that my window view offered a splendid landscape of a tropical forest and not rooftops.
It's hard to believe that I am now somewhere else from where I was somewhere else before. I have always had very little jet lag.
Anyhow, I'm going to a few more events this afternoon. That's why my writing has been hurried and I haven't been able to visit anyone as yet. Although I will tomorrow if not this evening. Thanks for being here. :-)
I will write more about Singapore (wonderful, wonderful people and top class with their helpful efficiency) and also the talks I went to. There's more happening later in the week.
It's 2 years and a little more since I last came to the island.
It's good to hear the novelists talking and to feel inspired. It was a pity I couldn't be everywhere at once. As a participating audience, I feel that everything is perfectly organised.
I knew most of the information handed out on the publishing industry - perhaps because I have been a regular commentator on the Guardian Books Blog from April this year. And I didn't realise till now how much I had learnt from the British and American journalists, authors & poets who blog and also from the posters who contribute their thoughtful comments . Subconsciously, you inherit so much.
I think that after such a long hiatus and returning to creative writing once more, I wanted to make every second count even if I continued to be the traveller at odd moments. When you suspect that you may not have much time left - and perhaps this; overcome by guilt from time lost - and I simply can't shake off this feeling, everything becomes purposeful.
And if such an example should be accentuated that I should feel the need to save time, I finished reading a 376-page novel, all at one go, by a first time American-Iranian author, Anita Amirrezvani on the flight here. I had purchased a new title, called The Blood of Flowers, in Dublin. Novels written on Iran seem to be suddenly fashionable and I believe that some literary agents fish them out from the slush pile, considering the displays. I read the book all at once from my seat.
I also read the Lufthansa magazine from cover to cover - there's another inspiring interview on Michael Ontaadje. He once won the Booker for The English Patient that was later, turned into a famous flm. Ontaadje still chooses to travel economy on Lufthansa.
In Singapore, I picked up another book from a debut novelist in London, Yasmin Crowther. Her Iranian story is called The Saffron Kitchen.

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