Thursday, May 19, 2011

Anthony Sattin & William Blacker Visit The Immrama Festival Of Travel Writing

From Egypt to Romania and further afield Acclaimed authors Anthony Sattin and William Blacker visit the Immrama Festival of Travel Writing, Lismore.

Critically acclaimed author and broadcaster Anthony Sattin and author William Blacker will open and close the literary menu on Sunday, June 12 at the ninth annual Immrama Lismore Festival of Travel Writing, which will take place in Co. Waterford from June 9 to 12.

Writer and broadcaster Anthony Sattin has spent much of his life travelling in, and writing about, the Middle East and North Africa. His writing has appeared in many UK newspapers, including The Guardian, The Independent, and The Daily Telegraph, and he is on the editorial advisory board of the Geographical Magazine.

He will talk of his travels and adventures at a Literary Breakfast in Ballyrafter House Hotel at 8.30am on the last day of the Lismore Immrama Festival, Sunday June 12. Sattin's books include the highly-acclaimed The Pharaoh's Shadow (2001), an account of his search for surviving ancient culture in Egypt and The Gates of Africa (2004), the story of the 18th century search for Timbuktu. His recently published book Winter on the Nile (2010) is based on the travels of Florence Nightingale and Gustave Flaubert in Egypt in 1849-50, following Sattin's discovery of Florence Nightingale's previously unpublished letters from Egypt. Both Nightingale and Flaubert arrived in Egypt in their late twenties, yet to embark on their respective careers. Flaubert began Madame Bovary on his return to France; Florence travelled to Scutari for the Crimean War a few years later and became famous as the founder of modern nursing.

Sattin's "Winter on the Nile" has been described as "a triumph of the historical imagination" by Geoffrey Wall, Literary Review and "A compelling snapshot of two of the most celebrated figures of the age, before their fame, and of a time when travel was leisurely and scholarly" by Traveller Magazine

Anthony Sattin has been a long-time regular contributor to the Sunday Times travel and book review pages and to the UK's leading travel magazine, Conde Nast Traveller. He has also contributed to several guidebook series, including the Lonely Planet volumes on Egypt and Algeria.Giles Foden, writing in the Conde Nast Traveller magazine, has called Anthony Sattin one of the "ten key influences in modern travel writing."

Author of the title which inspired the 2011 Immrama Festival theme 'Along The Enchanted Way', William Blacker will close the 2011 festival on Sunday, June 12 at 7pm at Lismore House Hotel, where he will explore the festival theme 'Along the Enchanted Way… Travellers Past and Present'.

Along the Enchanted Way is an account of the years Blacker spent in northern Romania, living a life that has hardly changed since the Middle Ages, having discovered the 200-odd Saxon villages of Transylvania, with their fortified churches that have not been touched since they were built between the 14th and 16th centuries. There, for many years he lived, side by side with the country people, a life ruled by the slow cycle of the seasons, far away from the frantic rush of the modern world.

Patrick Leigh Fermor of The Sunday Telegraph says of the critically acclaimed 'Along the Enchanted Way',  "This is a wild and captivating story.... William Blacker has written a book close to my heart."

Also joining Anthony Sattin and William Blacker on this year's Immrama programme are international and award winning authors Conor O'Clery, Rolf Potts and Alex Von Tunzelmann. Theo Dorgan and Sara Wheeler also feature on the diverse programme.

The 2011 festival also sees a brand new addition to the programme, a 'Blogger's Forum', facilitated by Manchán Magan, with special guests Rolf Potts, Áine Goggins of the TG4 Couchsurfing programme "Ó Tholg go Tolg", and Darragh Doyle of

A variety of fringe events will also take place over the weekend, including an International visual arts exhibition at Lismore Castle Arts, exhibition and events at Lismore Library, the launch of seven new Travel books, creative writing workshops, book readings and much more.

The Immrama Festival of Travel Writing will be held in Lismore from June 9 to 12, 2011 and is generously supported by Fáilte Ireland, Waterford County Council, Eason Dungarvan,  Waterford Airport and the Arts Council. Tickets and further information can be found on or by contacting 058-53803.

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