“Please, sit” says Andrew Biswell the proud director of Manchester's newest literary institution. And so I sit in the chair of Anthony Burgess who famously wrote A Clockwork Orange. The International Anthony Burgess Foundation is fittingly in a refurbished mill on Cambridge street in Manchester which used to be the dark and foreboding pathway way home from The Hacienda night club.
The last person to read to the public here was Booker nominee Howard Jacobson. I'm here to read for an audience from the Texting Obama conference but just before I enter the reading room two fire engines screech to a halt outside. Someone has falsely reported a fire. With the firemen placated Biswell introduces me to the podium. The reading goes well and I stay to sign books until everyone is gone. There's only Biswell, the cafe owner and the presence of the late Burgess.