Wednesday, 23 March 2011

Together, in a Horse Hospital, with Henry Hemming

Bloomsbury is a place redounding with literary associations - so I won't mention them. Henry Hemming held a rousing knees-up there last night, in the Horse Hospital, which is, actually, a horse hospital - or at least it used to be, there weren't any ill equines there, that I could see at any rate, but there were some sausages (hopefully not made from horses), wine and sliced vegetables, which is all one really wants from a launch party (especially the sliced vegetables).

Henry (pictured here with another Henry, artist Henry Hudson, at my launch party for The Liberators, last year at Willa's) was launching his new book, Together, which rather neatly fits into David Cameron's Big Society. Far from becoming fractured and separate, he argues, we are actually joining more societies than ever - cake-making societies, badge-making societies (there were lots of badges there), badger-loving societies, societies for people called James, clubs for people who like rainy Mondays, and so on (I may have made some of these up, but no doubt they exist somewhere.) Henry's books have so far included Misadventure in the Middle East, a lovely, warm account of his journey around Iraq, Iran, Syria and many other countries with a few artist friends in a truck called Yasmine, and a book about English eccentrics which featured Pete Docherty, King Arthur and the Marquis of Bath, amongst others. It will be intriguing to see where his next journey takes him, and I wish him the best of luck with his new book.

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