During an Asialink residency in Indonesia in 2016, I had the great good fortune to be invited to cover the Ubud Writers and Readers festival for Ubud Now and Then. Here are some of the pieces I wrote.
Hannah Kent at UWRF: On Her New Novel ‘The Good People’
Fairies are angels evicted from heaven. They were supposed to end up in hell. Except that half way through the eviction process, God realised that if he kept this up, pretty soon there’d be no angels left. So he had a moment. A change of heart. And decreed that the angels still in mid-fall should became fairies. Not bad enough for hell. And not quite good enough for heaven, either.
“But good enough for Ireland,” an Irishman remarked when Hannah Kent mentioned this story in Dublin.
Ariel Leve: An Abbriviated Life, at UWRF 2016
Ariel Leve grew up in a New York penthouse. Her mother was part of a circle that included Andy Warhol, Saul Bellow, Phillip Roth and Norman Mailer.
Michael Cathcart is clearly besotted by the notion of a New York childhood where Andy Warhol might stick his head into your bedroom while you’re doing your homework. “It sounds like a dream,” he says.
“I would have swapped it for a childhood where I felt safe,” says Leve.
They talk about noise. The lack of regular bedtimes. For a while, it sounds like maybe the problem was just too many parties. Too much glitter and noise. Too much Andy Warhol in the doorway when you just wanted to get your homework finished.