Fairground rides and other memories

“The Dragon ride wasn’t particularly high, fast or convoluted, but it was exciting. We screamed as the rusting carriages rattled and plunged precariously along the ageing tracks. Each side-ways jerk offered the tantalising possibility of catastrophe, but before my stomach had a chance to turn, the man brought it all to an end…”

Above is an extract from one of the two passages Noo Saro-Wiwa read from her book that morning bringing the words I had read earlier in the year back to life. Having read a review of Saro-Wiwa’s book before buying it last year, I had looked forward to finding familiar viewpoints both physical and cultural, the book didn’t disappoint. As a British- Nigerian I am always interested in reading about the types of experiences Saro-Wiwa covers in her book, they brought back warm memories of visiting family in Nigeria.

Earlier that morning stepping on the grass into the enclosed court yard of Charlotte Square; where the Edinburgh International Book festival site is located;  with my ticket in hand I thought back to festivals past. In particular 2006 when I joined the Festival FM Book Festival team, tasked with attending events, interviewing authors and creating short features.

As a member of the team I scanned the programme and identified several authors and events I wanted to see and attempt to interview. Luckily there was no overlap with the rest of the team and I set about arranging tickets and following the protocol involved in setting up interviews.  My choice of author was based on personal interest, books I’d recently read and time of event. For the next 5 days I’ll be posting these interviews undertaken with four authors and one performance poet.


Noo Saro-Wiwa, (2012) Looking for Transwonderland: Travels in Nigeria, Granta, London.


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