Your leader about writers’ need to give interviews (8 October) misses one vital point about those of us who choose to go to festivals. That is the pleasure that many writers – including myself – get from meeting readers or potential readers. After all no one (so far as I know) attends a literary festival in chains; the audience is there by choice. Questions can be stimulating and they can also be testing, to use an anodyne word. Either way, they provide a delightful change from the wonderful irresistible self-imposed tyranny of writing alone.
• In citing Harold Pinter’s Betrayal as a great play, Sebastian Faulks says that he likes “plays that can only work in the theatre; I can’t see the point of doing something on stage that might be a film” (Report, 8 October). Perhaps he has forgotten that Betrayal was made into a well-received film in 1983 with Jeremy Irons, Ben Kingsley and Patricia Hodge. Harold Pinter wrote the screenplay which, as with the play, structured the plot in reverse chronological order. This unusual approach arguably worked more effectively in the cinema than it did in the theatre.
• On Friday night, while reading the brilliant Good Night Stories for Rebel Girls to my daughter, I had the pleasure of updating its story about the courageous Nadia Murad (Nobel peace prize: Pair honoured for work against sexual violence, 6 October).
• “Waitrose piloting deliveries while customers are out” (6 October)? I don’t think so. Companies have been bringing items to my house for years when I’m not in.
• The issue number of the 9 October Guardian is the palindromic 53535. Is there an emeritus professor who can tell us when the next palindromic one will be?
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