Everyone reenters the room with Foyles bags. The visual message of how good the first session was. The natural day light is disappearing and I decide to take a photo of the background that have been placing us in these conversations. I also come prepared after buying a pin to support women writers. Not because they need financial support, but because they need people to believe in them. In the UK, a high percentage of men do not read novels written by women. The question is: Do women write as women or do they write as writers? The Swedish guest replies ‘being a woman is too confined’, but then it is also true that most times women are giving voice to those who silence themselves, other women.
While questioning if there is a sense of entrapment in women’s mind, the opinions vary. And the tension vanishes when the author of ‘Butterflies in November’ says she gives recipes at the end of her book, apparently her editor said there was food in every page and with her characteristic humour she highlighted ‘you have to feed your characters, it’s a long novel!’. We do get trap in the conversation, ‘I never met any ordinary person, sorry’, one says. ‘We say love so easily, but what is love? Do we feel it?’ other wonders, gesturing around in order to get understood. And discussing a theme as real as ‘Equal women’, I get trap in time again. Since both the novels here, today, were both published twenty years ago. Why did it take all this time to have these women at a huge festival like this? It is something we can think about for awhile. After all, they are right ‘language has been used to get power and justify it, instead of building bridges’. I look outside, to what I photographed before. There, are bridges everywhere.