Simon Winchester Shines at Lismore

| August 7, 2013 | 0 Comments
Simon Winchester

With the very entertaining Simon Winchester at Lismore Travel Writing Festival

I confess, before I arrived at the Blackwater Community Hall to listen to Simon Winchester, I’d never heard of him. Talking to others before taking my seat, I found wasn’t alone in my ignorance. My expectations for the evening were low. However, two magical hours later, I left the hall a fan.

Simon looked every inch the English gentleman as he took to the stage, not seeming at all jet-lagged after his long flight from his home in New York. He then proceeded to cast a spell over everyone in the hall with his polished and effortless story telling.

He started with his education where he graduated with a “Desmond” (2.2) – a distinction we both share – before setting off for Uganda and an equally unsuccessful mining career. While there, he read Coronation Everest, a book about Edmund Hillary’s conquest of Mount Everest by James Morris. He wrote to Morris and asked if he should leave his job to become a writer. Morris replied that he should do so immediately. So started his life-long friendship with the great travel writer.

Simon then returned to England and got a job as a local reporter. He moved up the ranks, always sending his articles to James Morris for feedback. Years later, he arranged to meet Morris in Wales. He got a real shock when he was greeted by a woman. James was now Jan and undergoing a sex-change operation to become a woman.

During his career, he was also lucky enough to be on the ground for some of the biggest news stories while working at the Guardian – stories such as Bloody Sunday, Watergate, and Falklands War.

A series of fortunate events conspired to lead him to write his best-known book, The Professor and the Madman. This became a best-seller and made his a well-known writer.

Other Books by Simon Winchester

Some other books by Simon Winchester:

The Man Who Loved China, about Joseph Needham.

A Crack in the Edge of the World: America and the Great California Earthquake of 1906

Krakatoa: The Day the World Exploded.

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About the Author ()

John Dwyer is a travel writer and blogger. His first book High Road to Tibet: Travels in China, Tibet, Nepal and India became an Amazon best-seller. His latest book Klondike House: Memories of an Irish Country Childhood recalls his years growing up on a rural farm in Ireland.

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