Where’s Parisot? It’s a hilltop village in Tarn-et-Garonne, Southwest France. You could be forgiven – but would be mistaken – for passing it by. Mistaken, not only because it has some interesting historical sites to see, but also because it hosts an Anglo-French literary festival every October.
I was involved in setting up the festival four years ago, when we were flying very much by the seats of our pants. Despite that, loads of people – authors and public included – said they had a great time.
I’m no longer actively involved, but four years on it’s an established event in the literary calendar. Former speakers have included Amanda Hodgkinson, Martin Walker (Bruno books set in the Dordogne), actor and cookery writer Robin Ellis, Belgrano whistleblower and historian Clive Ponting, Kate Mosse, the late lamented Helen Dunmore, literary agent and author Andrew Lownie and Fiona Barton, as well as local authors (Tracey Warr – and me!) and a number of debut authors.
The French side has included many local authors, including Daniel Crozes, who is well known for his novels set in the Aveyron, the next-door département. His books celebrate the historical heritage of rural France.
This year, the line-up includes Adam Thorpe (Ulverton, etc), Tracy Chevalier (Girl With a Pearl Earring), actress and model Fiona Lewis and Sunday Times Bestselling author Keggie Carew.
Also on the programme:
- The festival opening with a buffet and musical entertainment.
- A sale of secondhand books.
- A dinner with the authors.
- Other literary events, including readings, workshops and discussions.
All the sessions are free, except for the dinner with the authors.
The full programme is now on the website and booking starts in mid-September.
Venez nombreux, as they say down here.
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