Every week, we chat to a writer appearing at the Festival and ask them to share their book and event choices.
Michelle will be reading from her forthcoming collection of short stories at the War Stories event at the Imperial War Museum on Saturday 15th October (1.30pm, Imperial War Museum North, tickets are free but booking is advised), alongside Zoe Lambert. Her upcoming book explores the ongoing conflict in West Darfur and will be out with Comma Press in 2012. Her poetry collection Knee High Affairs is available from Crocus Books, and audio cuts can be found on her website.
MLF: List your top three favourite books…
MG: My top three favorite books are Marjane Satrapi’s Persepolis, Margaret Atwood’s Wilderness Tips, and Manda Scott’s Boudica series (yep, there are four in the series, but I can only read them as one).
MLF: What are you reading right now?
MG: Right now I’m re-reading Darfur: A Short History Of A Long War by Alex de Waal and Julie Flint, and, for the first time and for balance, Bill Bryson’s A Walk In The Woods.
MLF: How did you get to this point in your writing career?
MG: I’ve followed my curiosity to where I am now. I’ve also learned to listen and rewrite.
MLF: Who would you cite as your biggest influence, be they another writer, an artist, a musician, a Premier League footballer…
MG: My biggest and most consistent influence is Bjork - for her sharp skill and innovation. Robert Fisk comes a close second: an incredible writer, a precise and poetic journalist and thinker.
MLF: Which events in this year’s MLF programme are must-sees for you?
MG: I am very excited about the Alan Turing and Morphogenesis event at MadLab on October 23rd. There can never be too much Alan Turing content, in my opinion. I’m also looking forward to the formidable poet Jean Binta Breeze on 22nd October and local gem Gerry Potter who presents his new book The Men Pomes on October 21st.
MLF: Tell us about what you’re working on at the moment.
MG: Right now I’m writing my way through desert warfare and the politics behind it. The stories are fictional explorations of a particular and complex war, drawing on my experience as witness as well as my subsequent research.
For full details of all events at MLF 2011 and how to book, visit the website at www.manchesterliteraturefestival.co.uk