Author meets her cover girl

By Elgan Hearn   |   Local democracy reporter   |
Sunday 31st July 2016 2:00 pm

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HEARD the one about the cover girl and the author who met up at Dartington’s Ways With Words?

Writer Helen Pearson received a welter of favourable reviews for her book – The Life Project – when it came out earlier this year.

One critic described her work as a ‘spellbinding, carefully sourced and elegantly outlined account of birth cohort studies.’

One impressed reader of the volume turned up to get her copy signed and chat with the scribe about the old family photo which graced the book’s dust jacket.

This signature-hunting fan just happened to be the little girl in the nostalgic snap.

She was five at the time – and she is seen with her babe-in-arms brother and her mum on Pendine Sands in West Wales.

The grown-up girl in the crochet two-piece duly introduced herself to Helen Pearson as Ruth Davey, editor of the Mid-Devon Advertiser.

Her brother grew up to be a designer at Penguin Books, publishers of the lauded Pearson volume.

Ruth said after their brief encounter: ‘She was a bit surprised about my revelation, adding that she had expected one of the many people featured in the book to be on the cover. I was not in the book – just outside it!’

This year’s festival – celebrating its 25th year – was lucky to catch the start of the heatwave towards the end of the event.

The final, sun-blessed few days were a treat for WWW die-hards with the ever-entertaining Mark – Curious Incident – Haddon talking about his excellent latest offering of short stories, The Pier Falls.

One revelation was that he did not research Asperger’s Syndrome for his runaway bestseller The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time.

Andrew Davies, the mastermind behind the acclaimed TV version of Pride and Prejudice featuring Colin – the shirt – Firth, gave a sprightly account of his interpretation of the classics, including his latest success War and Peace.

He came relatively late to the TV adaption game after working as a teacher until his 50s.

He even got to talk about Firth’s wet shirt scene, explaining how little made-up bits from the classics always helped spice up the proceedings and were quite good for ratings no doubt.

Paul Kingsnorth was a welcome visitor on Sunday with the sun still belting down on the thirsty culture vultures.

His latest effort – Beast – has already been touted as a Dartmoor-inspired classic.

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