Jonathan Fryer

Writer, Lecturer, Broadcaster and Liberal Democrat Politician

What Will Survive

Posted by jonathanfryer on Thursday, 5th July, 2007

joan_smith.gifWriters and journalists were out in force in the Attlee Suite at Portcullis House, Westminster, last night, when Denis MacShane, MP (and former Minister for Europe), hosted a book launch for his partner, the Independent columnist Joan Smith. What Will Survive (Arcadia, £15.99) is a novel partly set in the Middle East, in which a bewitching leading character, a model called Aisha, encounters a clash of civilizations and becomes the focus of complex attention following her death. Some of the book’s themes will be familiar to readers of Joan’s newspaper columns, and it was not surprising to see the burly frame of Nick Cohen in one corner at the launch. Several members, past and present, of English PEN’s Writers in Prison Committee were there as well; Joan chaired the committee (on which I sit) with vigour for several years and has been a champion of human rights, as well as sexual politics. It was interesting to run into the writer and translator Maureen Freely, too, as she and I have boxed and coxed at trials of writers, journalists and publishers in Turkey in recent years — another example of a certain sort of clash of civilizations, as Ankara has its sights firmly on EU membership, while certain sections of its population and military hanker after the old certainties of authoritarianism and ultra-nationalism.


One Response to “What Will Survive”

  1. Hey, nice tips. Perhaps I’ll buy a glass of beer to that man from that chat who told me to visit your site 🙂

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