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Naomi Alderman (continued...)

Naomi is coming to Charleston on the opening night of the Small Wonder Short Story Festival, to read her latest short story, the intriguingly entitled ‘Dirty and Unclean’ which was recently Book at Bedtime on Radio 4. “It’s set in the orthodox Jewish world,” she says. “It’s about a girl who decides she wants a non-Jewish partner. She finds it a bit more problematic than she imagines…” I wonder if such a conflict is necessary in a short story. “Not at all. People are always making prescriptive rules for short stories. They say there are only two types: the frozen moment ones when a woman turns over a teacup and it changes her life, or the twist in the tale ones where the narrator turns out to be a cat. For me short stories can be anything they want to be: my stories don’t fit into either category. Personally I like tall tales, of an Arabian Night’s Variety.”

Charleston’s Small Wonder Festival runs from Thursday 14th September to Sunday 17th September, and includes readings and talks by such esteemed writers as William Trevor, AS Byatt, Helen Simpson, Rachel Cusk, Adam Thorpe and Andrew O’Hagan. For a full programme of events see www.charleston.org.uk. Ring 01323 811265 to book tickets.


Once again Charleston Farmhouse hosts a top-level literary event