Way back in 1985 the Book Festival was such an exciting place to be and many of the authors were my literary heroes.
One very hot and sunny Sunday at noon in the main, open-sided tent, it felt as though everyone had a hangover from the night before. A huge sense of anticipation and then suddenly James Baldwin ran down the middle aisle and jumped onto the stage. He was dressed all in white denim and the impact still sends shivers down my spine. He took the mic and said “I’m small, black, gay and happy to be here!” I can still feel the heat, both from the sun beating on the canvas, and from being in James Baldwin’s presence.