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LONDON, Mon, 29 Nov—I’d been eagerly anticipating the Phillip Pullman-Neil Gaiman event on Monday evening, only to see, when I arrived at the Cambridge Theatre’s entrance, an A4 piece of paper tacked on it apologising for Phillip Pullman’s absence, as he was ill. Still, there was Neil Gaiman to look forward to, and as stands-ins: American writer Audrey Niffenegger (The Time Traveler’s Wife), who read “The Three Snake Leaves” from Philip Pullman’s new collection of Grimm Tales (27 Sep/UK, 8 Nov/US; Penguin)—you can also hear Phillip Pullman’s own reading of this on BBC Radio 3—and award-winning American children’s author Meg Rosoff.
The order of the day was, of course, fairytales, and why they still matter today, with the discussion veering off in different directions—even Skyfall—and often returning to basics—What makes a story?—and the different ways in which American and British audiences take to horror. Wrapping up the event, Gaiman read a new story of his, “Click Clack the Rattlebag”, which you can download for free from Audiobooks (UK / USA / Germany)—and with every download Audiobooks will donate a small amount to a specified charity; in the UK, it’s £0.50 per download to Booktrust, an organisation which inspires kids to read. Do hurry, as the free download is only available through today. You can also listen to Phillip Pullman speak about his new collection on BBC Radio 4.
Emily joined Litro in April 2012 as Literary Editor & Web Designer. She made over the website and introduced new developmental and editorial features to strengthen Litro's online presence. She left her position in January 2013, taking a backseat as Contributing Editor to concentrate on writing. She is a freelance journalist with a special interest in travel writing and foreign reporting (with an inclination for Asia and Latin America), and is now based in Malaysia. English is her native language, but she also speaks Mandarin and Spanish, having spent 2007-08 travelling in Central America.