Because you can't have depths without surfaces.
Linda Grant, thinking about clothes, books and other matters.

Friday, 17 October 2008

Where are the photos?

Where indeed? No press photographers were allowed at the ceremony at the Guildhall, that's why you had the frankly terrifying photo call that lunchtime, with 50 snappers shouting at you, 'over 'ere, no, 'ere.'

Responsibility for recording the event fell then to my nephew who had been given his girlfriend's camera. Unfortunately she had forgotten to charge the battery.

Champagne reception from 7 pm. Best dressed woman beyond a doubt was the wife of fellow shortlisted author Steve Toltz who looked as though she should be pacing the catwalk in Sydney. Slightly, to say the least, younger, taller and thinner than me, she looked sensational. What a dress! Long-sleeved, bias cut, and an Oz designer too, she told me. But best dressed person was Hardip Singh Koli, the Glaswegian Sikh Booker judge who wore a pink turban with a kilt.

The food was fantastic, though I couldn't eat much, and the table two along was the one I really wanted to be at, former winners and shortlisted authors, who hasd all the fun and none of the tension. Congratulations to Aravind Adiga who did won. I have read his novel The White Tiger, and I can strongly recommend it as a shocking portrait of contemporary India done with both wit and rage.

Then we all scrambled into cars and hit the Groucho Club for the after parties.

Some thank yous: to Avsh Alom Gur at Ossie Clark for the dress, Mary Greenwell for the make-up, Anya Hindmarch (personally, for the emails of support,) and her staff for the evening bag, Susie Boyt for the diamond bracelet (!) George Szirtes and Clarissa Upchurch for the flowers and Yan and Rosita also for the flowers.

And to my fellow shortlisted authors, particularly Sebastian Barry who knows it was a close thing.

And to my readers here for cheering me on.