In 1971, the Man Booker Prize committee succeeded in persuading Saul Bellow to be one of the judges. The nattily dressed, sharp-tongued American writer could only think of one hotel fit for his London stay, and perhaps, ego: The Ritz on Piccadilly. Maybe it was a silen...

Pankaj Mishra tells me that he is no fan of literary festivals. “At literary festivals, the published word is somewhat replaced by the personality of the writer; something is lost in the public nature of these events.” 

I am stumped. But not for long.

 

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