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Damian Barr and Gabriela Ybarra talk to Rosie Goldsmith

Fictions: Parallels

Hay Festival 2019 , 

A conversation with authors of two of the most extraordinary and powerful first novels of recent years, both of which explore true histories of extremity and aftermath. You Will Be Safe Here is the brilliant debut novel set in South Africa between 1900 and 2010 from the award-winning author of Maggie & Me. Inspired by real events, Barr uncovers a hidden colonial history and present-day darkness while exploring our capacity for cruelty and kindness. The Dinner Guest is a Spanish novel with the feel of documentary non-fiction. It connects two life-changing events – the very public death of Ybarra’s grandfather, and the more private pain as her mother dies from cancer and Gabriela cares for her.