Author Lloyd Jones travelled all the way from New Zealand to take part in two separate events held at Liverpool University campus yesterday. He was here as part of The Man Booker Project, where 18,000 copies of Mister Pip have been given away to first-year students across the UK: 1,000 of which were provided for Liverpool University students. The aim of the project is to promote better relations between Arts and Science departments through shared reading, and Lloyd’s first event of the day – “Food for Thought” (a Reader favourite) – saw students from across the University coming together to hear Lloyd read from Mister Pip, to discuss the novel, and to put their own questions to him, in return for some free food. Lots of interesting points were raised by the students, incuding: why don’t people read aloud any more (short answer: Lloyd doesn’t know!), is Bougainville (where Mister Pip is set) a real place (it certainly is), and is Lloyd a religious man (a question that came up at both of yesterday’s events, and – again, in short – the answer is no, although Judaism has been a big influence on him throughout his life).
The second “In Conversation” event took place at the Victoria Gallery and Museum in the evening, and was hosted by The Reader editor Phil Davis. Again, Lloyd was really entertaining and engaging, offering some great insights into both his ancestry (a couple of Sea Captains and various “ne’er do wells”, apparently!) and his new novel, Hand me Down World, which is due out in two weeks, as well as reading extracts from Mister Pip and taking questions from the audience.
Thank you to everyone who joined us at yesterday’s events!