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No passport needed to meet, hear and learn from the European Union’s leaders in contemporary literature at this special event. For the second year running, the Festival is thrilled to present this rare chance to hear acclaimed works recited live in the languages in which they were originally written and in the authors’ own voices.
Spotlighted countries include Estonia, France, Germany, Hungary, Italy, Portugal, Slovenia and Spain. This event is presented in conjunction with the European Union National Institutes for Culture. Written English translations will be available. Readings will be followed by a licensed reception and the event will be hosted by Laetitia Delemarre.
Featured authors include:
Kai Aareleid (Burning Cities),
Esad Babačić (Every Child is Beautiful When Born),
Helena Janeczek (The Girl with the Leica),
Wilfried N’Sondé (Concrete Flowers),
Inês Pedrosa (Still I Miss You),
Rein Raud (The Death of a Perfect Sentence),
Teodor Reljić (Two),
Teresa Solana (The First Prehistoric Serial Killer),
Benedek Totth (Dead Heat),
and Gabriela Ybarra (The Dinner Guest).
This is a free event. Register at the link below.
Kai Aareleid is an award-winning Estonian prose writer, poet and translator. She has published the novels Russian Blood (2011) and Burning Cities (2016), two books of poetry and a collection of short stories, Secret Lives (2018). A prolific literary translator from Spanish, Finnish and English, she has translated into Estonian works by Bruce Chatwin, Javier Marías, Roberto Bolaño and Jorge Luis Borges, among others. Her novel Burning Cities was published by Peter Owen Publishers in 2018 and her poems were included in the anthology New Baltic Poetry, (Parthian Books, 2018). She is currently a freelance writer, translator and lecturer. Supported by the Estonian Studies Centre/VEMU and the Cultural Endowment of Estonia.
Esad Babačić was born in Ljubljana. His career in art began as a singer/songwriter for the acclaimed punk band Via Ofenziva. Since then, he has published columns in several newspapers (Razgledi, Dnevnik), was a journalist for Slovene national television and for a while even worked as a writer for a marketing agency. He has published fifteen poetry collections and has acted in several feature films. His poetry has been translated into many languages and has received several awards. Among others, he received the Velenjica – čaša nesmrtnosti award for ten years of outstanding poetic work in the 21st Century. Supported by the Vilenica International Literary Festival, organized by Slovene Writers' Association and Slovene Book Agency.
Laetitia Delemarre is the cultural director at Alliance Française Toronto, which was founded in Paris, France in 1883. Over the last 30 years, Alliance Française Toronto has has grown to become the largest French language school in Canada, with more than 6,500 adult and youth students enrolling each year at 5 conveniently located campuses across the GTA and a dynamic cultural centre presenting more than 100 events a year. Alliance Française Toronto is a 100% Canadian non-profit and charity organization offering the GTA community a wide range of French as a Second Language classes and cultural activities in French.
Born in Munich in a Polish Jewish family, Helena Janeczek has been living in Italy for over thirty years. With The Girl with the Leica she won the Strega Prize, Italy’s most prestigious literary award, and was a finalist for the Campiello Prize. She lives in Milan, Italy. Her appearance is supported by the Istituto Italiano di Cultura.
Frido Mann, born in Monterey, California, worked for many years as a clinical psychologist in Münster, Leipzig and Prague after studying music, Catholic theology, and psychology. He lives today as a freelance writer in Munich. Most recently, he wrote “An die Musik. Ein autobiographischer Essay” (To the Music: An Autobiographical Essay) and, together with Christine Mann, "Es werde Licht. Die Einheit von Geist und Materie in der Quantenphysik” (There will be Light - The Unity of Mind and Matter in Quantum Physics). In August 2018, he wrote “Das Weiße Haus des Exils" (The White House of Exile) about the Thomas Mann House in Los Angeles, published by S. Fischer Verlag. Supported by Goethe-Institut Toronto.
Wilfried N'Sondé was born in 1969 in the Congo (Brazzaville) and grew up in France. After having studied politic sciences in Paris, he lived 25 years in Berlin. He is now based in Paris. Wilfried is widely considered one of the shining lights of the new generation of African and Afropean writers. His work has received considerable critical attention and been recognized with prestigious literary awards, including the Prix de Cinq Continents de la Francophonie and the Prix Senghor de la création littéraire. His last novel, Concrete Flowers, was published in English by Indiana University Press in 2018. He is also a musician and a songwriter, and he tours with his brother Serge N’Sondé in France and Germany. His appearance is in partnership with the Toronto Cultural Office of the French Embassy in Canada.
Inês Pedrosa is a portuguese writer and translator. She graduated in Communication Sciences at the Universidade Nova, in Lisbon, where she is now doing a PHD in Comparative Literature. She was the editor of the portuguese edition of Marie Claire magazine and the director of Fernando Pessoa’s House Museum. Currently, she does cultural programs in the public radio and participates in a weekly political debate in public television.She has published 22 books, including novels, short-stories, essays, and biographies. Her books have been published in the United States of America, Brazil, Croatia, Germany, Italy and Spain. Supported by Camões, Instituto da Cooperação e da Língua.
Rein Raud (born 1961 in Tallinn, Estonia) is a writer and a scholar of cultural theory and Japanese classics. He is the author of nine novels, five poetry collections, four other books of fiction, and poetry translations from Japanese, Italian, Lithuanian, Classical Chinese and German, as well as numerous academic publications. He has received the Estonian Best Book of Fiction Award (2004 and 2013) and the Eduard Vilde Award (2009). Three of his novels have been published in English: The Brother (2016), The Reconstruction (2017) and The Death of the Perfect Sentence (2017), longlisted for the Dublin International Literary Award. Supported by Estonian Studies Centre/VEMU and the Cultural Endowment of Estonia.
Teodor Reljić was born in Belgrade, Serbia and raised in Malta. He writes fiction across various formats, as well as feature articles and film reviews for national media. His debut novel, Two, was published by Merlin in 2014 and was shortlisted for the National Book Prize (Malta) in 2015, while his short film ‘Camilla’ -- which he co-wrote with its director Stephanie Sant -- premiered in 2018 after winning the National Book Council’s Literary Short Film competition. He is currently working on a comic book series, Mibdul (illustrated by Inez Kristina) and a number of scripts for film and TV. Supported by the Consulate General of the Republic of Malta.
Teresa Solana was born in Barcelona, where she has lived most of her life. Before becoming a writer, she was a professional literary translator and for seven years directed «The Translators’ House», an institution dedicated to promoting translation. She published her first book, A not so perfect crime, in 2006. She writes in Catalan and her novels and stories, full of irony and humor, have been translated into several languages and won several awards. She has also written children's books. Her latest work, The first prehistoric serial killer and other stories, was published in English in 2018 by Bitter Lemon Press. Supported by Institut Ramon Llull.
Born in Hungary in 1977, Benedek Totth studied American literature and now works as an editor and translator in Budapest. His translations into Hungarian include works by Stephen King, Cormac McCarthy, Hunter S. Thompson and William S. Burroughs. Dead Heat, his first novel, caused a sensation in Hungary, where it won the Margó Prize for best first novel of the year. It has been published in translation in France and Slovakia. Supported by the Consulate General of Hungary in Toronto.
Gabriela Ybarra was born in Bilbao, Spain, in 1983. She currently lives in Madrid were she writes and works in social media analysis. The Dinner Guest is her first novel and was published to critical acclaim in Spain, where it won the Euskadi Literature Prize 2016, and in the UK, where it was longlisted for the 2018 Man Booker International Prize. She occasionally writes for El País. Her appearance is with the support of Acción Cultural Española (AC/E).