We were delighted to support the Edinburgh Book Festival for the third consecutive year, this time as a headline sponsor. Our sponsored events featured acclaimed writers Ma Jian and Colm Tóibín, and BBC Arts Editor Will Gompertz.
Ma Jian recently introduced the Folio Society edition of Three Kingdoms, describing how, as a child growing up under Mao Zedong’s Cultural Revolution, he treasured a battered copy of Luo Guanzhong’s epic. As an adult he left China, but returned to support the 1989 Tiananmen Square protests, an experience that inspired his novel Beijing Coma. In his Edinburgh event, focusing on Ma’s new book The Dark Road, about China’s controversial one-child policy, he discussed the role of the writer in exploring the less palatable aspects of our world: ‘a writer's duty is to write about the side of society that most people can't see or won't see.’ We sponsored two events with Colm Tóibín, one of which explored D. H. Lawrence’s Sons and Lovers. 'Lawrence was pushing his material to extremes, like a patient in psychoanalysis,’ was Tóibín’s verdict; he introduces the Folio Society centenary edition. At a second event he discussed his new novella, The Testament of Mary. Meanwhile Will Gompertz, introducer of the new Folio Society edition of Kenneth Clark’s Landscape into Art, gave an engrossing talk on the history of art in ‘Making Art Make Sense’.
Folio Publisher Catherine Taylor, Senior Editor Tom Walker and Managing Director Toby Hartwell all attended the festival, and assure us that it was as lively and entertaining as ever. It is a pleasure, as always to be involved in one of the highlights of the international literary calendar.