What nicer way to bring my arduous year of book eventing to a close than with four days in Paris?
Paris Polar, the city’s annual festival of crime writing and associated fields, is this year honoured to have the film director Bertrand Tavernier as its Special Guest, and Tavernier will introduce a showing of his film, In the Electric Mist, based on the novel by James Lee Burke, on the Saturday evening.
The formidable Cathi Unsworth and myself will be representing British crime writing at the festival; Cathi – who knows a great deal about such matters – will be taking part in a panel discussion about the relationship(s) between music and the crime novel, while I have the honour of sharing a platform with Bertrand Tavernier and publisher, editor and writer, François Guerif, to discuss the return of the American West and the Western novel to the literary landscape.
I’m delighted also that the festival will give me another opportunity to look at Hermance Triay’s Crime Scene photographs, which I first came across in Villeneuve Lez Avignon earlier in the year, and which inspired the author Marc Villard to write the twenty short texts which have been published alongside the photographs in a book of the same name
Outside of the festival itself, on Thursday afternoon I’m a guest on Kathleen Evin’s radio programme, L’Humeur Vagabonde on France Inter, and on Friday I have the uncertain pleasure of talking to four classes of sixteen year olds at the lycée Claude Monet, who have been reading Coeurs Solitaires (Lonely Hearts) in its French translation and Rough Treatment (Les Etrangers Dans la Maison) in the original English.
And if I can slip away from my duties at the signing table long enough, there are currently exhibitions by two leading American photographers I’d very much like to see – Garry Winogrand at Jeu de Paume and William Eggleston at the Fondation Henri Cartier-Bresson.