Anorak News | Fully Booked

Fully Booked

by | 13th, September 2002

‘THERE’S nothing new about writers in residence. Is there a football club, police station or merchant bank in the land that doesn’t have its own poet, artist or storyteller?

”I wandered lonely as a cloud, Until I came upon the Savoy…”

But can there be a more agreeable gig than the one that Fay Weldon has just landed?

The Times reports that the veteran novelist will be living for the next three months in a £290-a-night room at the Savoy. Here she will dispense bon mots for the delectation of the guests at the occasional literary dinner, but the hotel does not expect her to do any actual writing.

Not surprisingly, Weldon finds this arrangement very much to her liking.

”I would rather be writer-in-residence at the Savoy than writer-in-residence at a university,” she says. ”My friends who do that have tiny little concrete rooms. They look out through bars at a desolate on to a desperate campus.”

Look through bars? Are you sure it’s a university you’re thinking of, Fay?

But wait, there’s more… As though living in concrete cells weren’t bad enough, Fay’s unfortunate friends also have to ”teach and help writers” – and, as Fay cruelly points out, ”it’s very hard work”.

Weldon hit the headlines recently when her novel The Bulgari Connection was sponsored by the famous jewellery company, but there is no question of the Savoy expecting similar plugs.

Well, maybe just a suggestion. ”She doesn’t have to mention us at all,” says Pat Carter, the Savoy’s head of PR, in the Telegraph. ”Though you never know, some of the history of the hotel might just rub off on her.”

Funnily enough, Fay seems to agree. ”I often mention Claridges in my books and have often stayed there,” she comments waspishly. ”I can see that it wouldn’t be too wicked to change Claridges to the Savoy just once.”

Posted: 13th, September 2002 | In: Broadsheets Comment | TrackBack | Permalink