EUROPEAN LITERATURE NIGHT: THE WRITERS’ SHOWCASE
Writers from six countries in a literary feast of compelling fiction and short stories
WEDNESDAY 11 MAY, 6.30pm
The centrepiece of the Festival, the Writers’ Showcase follows a day of talks and translation clinics at the British Library, with novelist and playwright Kate Mosse to deliver an opening address before appearances by the six 2016 ELN Writers – each chosen from a pool of 65 writers submitted by publishers in November – who will be interviewed on stage by broadcaster and director of European Literature Network Rosie Goldsmith.
“Writing in translation offers us a way to understand our neighbours better and to shine a light on how the world fits together. At a time when the countless shared histories and stories from our many friends and strangers in Europe is danger of being lost in the politics of the EU debate, an initiative like the European Literature Festival is more important than ever. I’m delighted to be supporting it and taking part.” – Kate Mosse, novelist and playwright
The discussion will travel from the Turkish prison cells of Burhan Sönmez’s ‘Istanbul, Istanbul’ to the turned upside-down-lives in Dorthe Nors’ twisted and imaginatively-realised streets of Copenhagen; to Slovenian writer Gabriela Babnik’s seductive tale of forbidden love on the dusty plains of Ouagadougou, Burkina Faso; via Peter Verhelst’s deadpan Belgian humour in his Gorilla-narrated fable about the story of human civilisation (and its collapse). There is a tormented relationship unfolding between widow and son on Dutch-writer Jaap Robben’s remote and stormy island (located somewhere between Scotland and Norway); and we finish in Alek Popov’s strange and comic novel that moves between Bulgaria and New York, where two brothers question whether their long-deceased father is, in fact, dead.
“Since our first European Literature Night eight years ago the evening has gradually grown into a week, and now, quite thrillingly, it has become a Festival. As judge and host of ELN, it is the highlight of my year. We’ve had a record number of submissions and this year the judges all felt it was the strongest collection of writers we have had to choose from so far. I can assure you British audiences are in for a real treat. The best of contemporary European literature is coming their way.” – Rosie Goldsmith, director of European Literature Network
The event will be followed by a drinks reception.
BURHAN SÖNMEZ (TURKEY)
DORTHE NORS (DENMARK)
GABRIELA BABNIK (SLOVENIA)
PETER VERHELST (BELGIUM)
JAAP ROBBEN (NETHERLANDS)
ALEK POPOV (BULGARIA)
CHAIRED BY ROSIE GOLDSMITH
OPENING ADDRESS BY KATE MOSSE