The Literary Salon comes to the seaside
A couple of weeks ago I went to a literary salon in Brighton’s Aubin & Wills’ store. It’s the first time that the salon has ventured down to the south coast (the usual venue is London’s Shoreditch House) These very popular nights are the creation of, and hosted by, the journalist and author Damian Barr. He’s like the Kevin Bacon of the literary world. Everyone seems to know him. He’s gregarious and witty and excels at bringing people together. They are some of the most fun nights. He has his own book out next year about growing up under Thatcherism called Maggie and Me published by Bloomsbury which I’m eagerly anticipating.
They pushed the clothing rails back and everyone crammed in, stared down at by moody portraits of Sophie Dahl. There was a great mix of people there- authors such as Julia Crouch and Kate Harrison, and although I only knew a smattering of faces there, I left having talked to lots of new people, united by a common love of books.
Damian is very skilled at choosing authors that complement each other – sometimes there is a theme, sometimes not. The authors this particular night were Eleanor Moran and Katy Regan and their books both deal with friendship, examining the fall out of those intense, often toxic, friendships, the ones you somehow can’t shake off, that leave you changed.
Eleanor’s book is called The Last Time I Saw You. Katy’s is called How We Met and features a group of friends and the effect of the death of one of them on their tightly knit group. Both books are out early next year.
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