One of the liveliest sessions of Flipside, was created by the presence of Will Self. Having been asked about their books, Bernardo Carvalho and Will Self shared their thoughts on identity. Will explained that he enjoyed exploring women characters “as he is not a very manly man”. “It is like shape shifting to explore the female persona”. Will read from his book “Umbrella” and the whole text came alive, as he made us hear his London 1930’s character’s voices.
Bernardo Carvalho read from his novel “Nine Nights” and said that in contrast to Will’s novel, he felt his writing lacked description. Will contradicted this observation with examples of description from “Nine Nights” and then made some profound statements about how Carvalho had written about Brazilian identity. “It is about the other in Brazilian culture, the looming otherness, darkness, that lies behind Brazil”. Carvalho seemed to enjoy the banter.