A former Labour Party leader, a cartoonist, a food critic, a twitterer – what do they have in common? Nothing really, except they all took part in an evening of gossiping - tsek-tsik - about themselves, life, books, politics and erm, sex.

While author Guze Stagno spoke of the influence National Geographic magazines had on his early sexual ‘education’; George Mallia gave a cartoonist’s view point of Malta’s political issues. Guliana Peresso gossiped about her compulsion to use the internet as a reference point in her life; Dr Alfred Sant talked of books in the pre-virtual era.

The ‘gossiping’ was organised: a line-up of ten guests each with their own selection of 15 slides, and with exactly 20 seconds to talk about each slide. After the allotted 20 seconds, the slide flipped automatically to the next one. It wasn’t an event of bland talks, rather, it was the best example of creative theatre in a fast forward mode.

Some chose to plug their work lives, others talked about their personal inspirations, some were irreverent, others serious. But quite a lot of topics were covered - from the austere budget to the joys of having a butler in the Seychells.

Tsek-tsik, was one of the main events held at the Malta Book Fair, and is based on ‘Canon Tales’ a concept originated by the Society of Young Publishers in the UK where it is already in its fourth year.

“We got the rights to hold the event here – and following last year’s success, we wanted to do it again,” said event organiser Chris Gruppetta, director of publishing at Merlin Library.

The National Malta Book Fair at the Mediterranean Conference Centre in Valletta runs till tomorrow, Sunday.

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