Friday, 6 June 2008

Beryl Bainbridge in Haworth

Beryl Bainbridge started off the annual June Weekend today, talking to a large audience of Brontë Society members in the West Lane Baptist Church. 

She was asked questions by Anne-Marie Sanchez, and finished by reading from her latest, unfinished, novel, provisionally entitled The Girl in the Polka-dot dress. It is set at about the time of the assassination of Bobby Kennedy, allegedly by Sirhan Sirhan, but it is not a straightforward matter in this version, as might be expected.

After talking about events in her childhood and the ways they have entered her fiction, she spoke about her admiration for the Brontës ("they wrote such jolly good stories") and explained why she was writing mainly historical novels at the moment ("because I've now written everything I can about my childhood.......but I still get into my novels....I still put in things from my past..") and revealed that four months is her normal gestation period.

"There's no need to make anything up - ever," was her parting message.

Tomorrow's events include a lecture by Heather Glen, a church service, the AGM and a panel discussion.

Below, Ann-Marie Sanchez and Beryl Bainbridge:

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