European Literature Night
Wed 16 May 2012, 18.30 - 20.30
£7.50 / £5 concessions
Now in its fourth year, and held simultaneously in capital cities across the continent, European Literature Night takes you on an epic reading journey across some of the most vivid cultural landscapes in Europe. Ranging from crime writing to literary explorations of love, from historical novels to horror, from short-story mazes to concise contemporary verse, the nine authors selected to take part in the 2012 European Literature Night encompass a wide range and wealth of writing that will appeal to readers across the board.
The line-up of participants includes prize-winning novelists, short story writers and poets — from France in the west to Romania in the east, from Sweden in the north to Spain in the south. They are:
AUSTRIA’s Paulus Hochgatterer – one of the leading contemporary authors on the German-speaking literary scene. His The Mattress House (trans. Jamie Bulloch) is a thriller that is as much about the everyday trials of life as it is about crime. It was published by Maclehose Press in January. ‘He is Austria’s answer to David Lynch’ – 3sat Kulturzeit
DENMARK’s Pia Juul – winner of Denmark’s most important literary prize, Den Danske Banks litteraturpris, and author of five books of poetry, two short-story collections and two novels. The Murder of Halland (trans. Martin Aitken), a crime novel which strays far beyond the norm, will be published by Peirene in June.
FRANCE’s Laurent Binet – the first-time novelist won the prestigious Prix Goncourt du premier roman and the Prix des Lecteurs du Livre de Poche for his novel, HHhH. Harvill Secker will publish the English translation (trans. Sam Taylor) in May. ‘Magnificent… unsurpassable… exerts a hypnotic sway over the reader ’ – Mario Vargas Llosa
GERMANY’s Ludwig Steinherr – one of his country’s foremost poets, also an essayist, translator, editor and lecturer, he has published 13 collections of poetry in German, as well as being translated into French, Czech and other languages. Steinherr’s first collection in English, Before the Invention of Paradise (trans. Richard Dove), was published by Arc in 2010.
HUNGARY’s Noémi Szécsi – the author of four novels to date, and winner of the European Union Prize for Literature in 2009 for her second novel, The Finno-Ugrian Vampire (trans. Peter Sherwood), a linguistic tour-de-force and play on myths. It’s set in contemporary Hungary and will be published by Stork Press in October.
MONTENEGRO’s Ognjen Spahić – the best-known of the new generation of Montenegrin writers to have emerged since the collapse of the former Yugoslavia. He is a novelist and short fiction writer and his novel Hansen’s Children, which has already been translated into six languages, was published by Istros Books in 2011 (trans. Will Firth).
POLAND’s Zygmunt Miloszewski – his work includes horror stories and novels for young people but it is his crime writing, which uses historical and political themes, that has made Miloszewski a household name in his country. His A Grain of Truth (trans. Antonia Lloyd-Jones), the second of his crime trilogy, will be published by Bitter Lemon Press in August.
ROMANIA’s Robert Şerban – a writer, editor, journalist, producer and television show host. His poetry has been translated into several languages and in 2004 the President of Romania granted him the status of ‘Knight’ for his cultural achievements. His work appeared in the anthology Of Gentle Wolves: An Anthology of Romanian Poetry by Calypso (2011).
SWEDEN’s Anne Swärd – who has published three novels and is a regular contributor to several Swedish newspapers. Her most recent novel, Breathless (trans. Deborah Bragan-Turner) will be published by Maclehose Books in April. It won the Bokcirklar’s Stora Läsarpriset [The Readers Award] in her native land and has been sold in 13 countries.
Quim Monzó from SPAIN, one of the most widely-read and prize-winning writers in Catalan, was also chosen, but is unable to attend on the night. Monzó is published by Open Letter in the USA; his book A Thousand Morons (trans. Lisa Dillman) will be out this autumn.
The British Library event will include readings and a short interview with each writer.
European Literature Night in London will be chaired once again by Rosie Goldsmith, a journalist specialising in arts and current affairs in the UK and abroad. Over 20 years working for the BBC, she has travelled the world and presented flagship BBC radio shows such as, Crossing Continents, Profile and Front Row. She speaks French, German and Italian, and actively champions European literature.
European Literature Night is presented in partnership with EUNIC (European Union National Institutes for Culture) London, the European Commission Representation in the UK, the British Library and Speaking Volumes Live Literature Productions