Heathrow’s Literary Festival

By | Category: Travel rumblings

We have the Hay-on-Wye, the Cheltenham and, at present, the literary side of the Edinburgh Festival but Heathrow? I exaggerate slightly because there is no festival but they do have a writer in residence. For this week only, as the old cinema posters used to say, Alain de Botton will be at Heathrow writing a book. This book will supposedly be called A Week at the Airport so it does seem apt.

But why? What is BAA (the owner of Heathrow) expect of it? Is it just publicity for an airport?

Most publicity about Heathrow has covered strikes, lost baggage, terminal five mishaps, whether there will be a new runway and generally things that haven’t put Heathrow in the best light. So if this is good publicity you would have thought that BAA would make the most of it. But it isn’t to be found on the corporate BAA website or the Heathrow website noir is it to be mentioned on Alain de Botton’s own website.

It’s in the press that you find the answers. It appears that BAA is paying and will give 10,000 copies away free to passengers some time after publication (The Guardian); Associated Press suggests that boring airport book contract is better than no book contract and the FT’s Stefan Stern created an amusing piece called “I’m Alain, fly me (window or aisle?)”.
It appears that de Botton can write about anything; there is no censorship. So come September after all is written we will see how he sees the place.

So what now? A book about waiting for National Express coaches at Digbeth coach station in Birmingham, riding on the Isle Of Wight ferry or best of all, interviewing passengers on the Cardiff Queen Street to Cardiff Bay run (the journey takes about 4 minutes)

If you enjoyed this post, please consider subscribing to the RSS feed to have future articles delivered to your feed reader.
Tags: ,