Avid readers love crime novels and books about gardening. The Body in the Garden combines these two genres in a free festival to be held in 25-27 October 2013 in the leafy Botanic Gardens.
This quirky festival follows the tradition of South Australia being an innovator and leader in the area of festival events. Like the Adelaide Festival of Ideas, the Body in the Garden will be the first festival of its kind in Australia, and perhaps in the world. It will include international, national and South Australian crime and garden writers.
Charles Elliott’s first appearance for The Body in the Garden will be at the opening session, to be held at Elder Hall on Friday 25 October 2013. The session, entitled Burying the body: Compost or a crime? introduces the four international guests participating in the festival. This is the only ticketed session in the otherwise free festival, with tickets costing $25 and available through BASS.
Elliott was born and raised in the US and, after a time in the army, he joined Time Magazine, progressing from ‘office boy to editor in charge of words’. In 1972 he became a senior editor at the publishing house of Alfred A Knopf, continuing in this role until his retirement in 1995.
His first book, a collection of essays entitled The Transplanted Gardener, was published in 1995. Among his other books are three more collections of essays and a number of anthologies on subjects ranging from trees to treasure-hunting. He is also a regular contributor to Hortus, a British gardening quarterly.
Although most of his writings are in some way connected to gardening and plants, Elliott does not think of himself as primarily a ‘garden writer’.
“What interests me is the variety of extraordinary, often bizarre, stories associated with gardening and botany, stories about people as much or more than about growing things,” he says.
The Body in the Garden directors, Penelope Curtin and Rose Wight, OAM, are thrilled to have secured the participation of Charles Elliott, commenting that he is exactly the kind of interesting and unusual writer the festival had set out to attract.
“When Charles Elliott wrote that he could speak about the strange German explorer and plant hunter upon whom Patrick White based Voss, or the role of time in the garden, or the menace involved in the deceptively innocent wild rose, we knew immediately that he was our man!”
Joining Elliott on the team promoting the virtues of compost in the Friday 25 October session, will be Toby Musgrave, a leading authority on garden history and design, who divides his time between the UK and Denmark.
Arguing the case for crime will be Hakan Nesser, one of Sweden’s most popular crime writers.
His partner in crime will be Ann Cleeves from Northern England and the creator of the Vera Stanhope series, the television series of which was recently screened in Australia.
Australian writers will include Gabrielle Lord, Paul Bangay and the Melbourne duo, Fabian Capomollo and Mat Pember.
The Body in the Garden festival
When: 25-27 October 2013
Where: Botanic Gardens, Adelaide
Bookings: Free events except Burying the body: Compost or a crime? on 25 October. Book at BASS
More information: http://www.thebodyinthegarden.com.au