Interview with the Colombian writer Juan Gabriel Vásquez: “Writing novels gives you the freedom to be somebody else”

The Colombian writer Juan Gabriel Vásquez, best known for the novel The Sound of Things Falling (originally published in 2011), recipient of the International IMPAC Dublin Literary Award in 2014, was one of the guests of the seventh edition of the International Literature Festival in Timișoara (FILTM), Romania. He was interviewed by a high school student, Luca Dragu, during the festival (that took place between the 23rd and 27th of October), and, through the organizers of the festival, Bookaholic.ro is publishing that dialogue now. They talked about Colombia, travelling and living in other countries and how that influences the writing process, about real people who appear as characters in Vásquez's novels, about politics, drugs, and many other interesting subjects, which you can read below.  Citeşte tot articolul

Elias Khoury: “Literature is the history of ordinary people” (interview)

I met Mr. Elias Khoury in Bucharest just before he presented his last book, The Children of the Ghetto - My name is Adam, at Bookfest, an international book fair held annually not only in the Romanian capital, but also in other cities across the country. His novel was recently translated in Romanian by Polirom Publishing House, and I was very honored to ask Mr. Khoury several questions about his book, about how he conceives literature, its meaning, its relation to reality and act of writing itself. Citeşte tot articolul

Robert Simonišek: “I think all writing should be the expression of inner necessity and that poetry, essay, prose are just different forms to express essential things”

Robert Simonišek was born in 1977, in Slovenia. He is a writer, poet and art historian. He has been a tour guide for several years. After achieving PhD in Art History, he taught at University of Ljubljana. At the end of October, he was invited at the 6th edition of the International Festival of Literature in Timișoara. Citeşte tot articolul

Anna Axfors: “Loneliness can arrive suddenly, but you shouldn’t use it to make your life more boring or sadder than it already is”

One of the most important events of this summer, especially for the young public, was the "Zona nouă" International Student Festival in Sibiu. Organized by the editors of the magazine with the same name and supported by the "Lucian Blaga" University, the festival, which reached its third edition this year, aims to promote young poets both from Romania and from abroad. The readings and the debates included in this edition's official program managed to create not only an intercultural dialogue between the guests and the audience, but also an engaging atmosphere, proving that poetry can still be, and not just for only a few people, an actual way of life. Citeşte tot articolul

Denisa Duran and Bruno Pisek about the unique show “Bucharest nowadays is beautiful, isn’t it”? (interview)

Last week, on the 8th of February 2017, at ARCUB, the show "Bucharest nowadays is beautiful, isn't it?", realized by the Romanian writer Denisa Duran and the Austrian composer Bruno Pisek, has had its initial performance in Bucharest, Romania's capital. One week later, on the 15th of February, at Green Hours pub, it was the second performance of the radio-poetry-show. Between these two events, I talked with the two authors to find out more about their project, about how they met, how they created this unique show, its structure and so many other things, which I invite you to read in the rows below. After all, "Bucharest nowadays is beautiful, isn't it?" is a thrilling premiere, a smart, original and fresh mix of poetry and music, shouts and whispers, sounds, voices and words, a performance with which one meets rarely.  Citeşte tot articolul

Dave Eggers

Interview with Dave Eggers: “The thing to take seriously is how we can lessen the fears of others”

The novel A Hologram for the King, written by Dave Eggers and translated into Romanian in 2016, inspired the movie in which Tom Hanks had the leading role. The writer Dave Eggers became known in the literary field through A Heartbreaking Work of Staggering Genius, a Pulitzer Prize finalist and chosen Book of the Year by several well-known publications. He worked together with Spike Jonze on the screenplay for the movie Where the Wild Things Are and he is also the author of the novel The Wild Things, inspired by the original children story written by Maurice Sendak. He cofounded 826 Valencia, a nonprofit organization dedicated to children and young adults who wish to improve their writing skills. He also founded ScholarMatch, a program that brings together persons who want to support education and students who need money for their college tuition. Citeşte tot articolul

Dror Mishani: „Israeli literature is still dedicated to the spiritual project of building the nation” (Interview)

Dror Mishani is an Israeli crime writer, specialized in the history of detective fiction. His series of crime fiction, featuring police inspector Avraham Avraham, was published in Hebrew in 2011 and it is translated to over 15 languages. In 2013, the first novel of the series, "The Missing File", was short-listed for the CWA International Dagger award and it won the Martin Beck award for the best translated crime novel in Sweden. It was translated in Romanian as Dispariția - 2013, Trei Publishing House, in the "Crime. Fiction Connection" collection.  Citeşte tot articolul

“The Telling Room” by Michael Paterniti, reviewed by John Freeman

This book could make you fat. It is a tale about cheese and will make you hungry for cheese. But, it is also about pleasure and the past. In the figure of Ambrosio Molinos de Las Heras, the wine-savoring master Castilian cheese maker at the heart of it, Michael Paterniti has found a man whose life story is a lesson in the dangers of combining these two things. Citeşte tot articolul

John Freeman interviewed Tomas Tranströmer, the poet who won the Nobel Prize in Literature in 2011

THE ISLAND OF RUNMARO lies an hour east of Stockholm, ringed by skerries that rise out of the water. To journey there one must catch a ferry that gurgles through the chop at about 20 knots per hour. It’s a rainy August afternoon, the sea green and mysterious - and not hard on a day like this to imagine why seafarers built their homes on Runmaro as opposed to on one of Stockholm’s 27,000 other islands. Citeşte tot articolul

Interview: Nava Semel talking about the Jewish tragedy and the act of remembering

Nava Semel is an Israeli author, playwright, screenwriter and translator. And the Rat Laughed was recently translated into Romanian and it is a book that not only talks about the horrors of Holocaust, but also it's a novel that deals with the act of remembering them. Nava Semel is one of the characters in Oana Giurgiu's documentary movie, Aliyah Dada, talking about her parents experience as survivors of the Holocaust. Citeşte tot articolul

Interviu cu Immanuel Mifsud

Interview with Immanuel Mifsud: „I’m always embarrassed to say how I became a writer”

Immanuel Mifsud is a very well-known Maltese writer. Moreover, he is considered to be the leading writer of the Maltese Generation-X. He started to write when he was sixteen, both prose and poetry. Some of his works have been translated and published in a number of European countries and USA. He also worked with experimental theatre groups, directing his own plays and later works by Chekhov, Dario Fo, Max Frisch, Federico Garcia Lorca, Harold Pinter, etc.  Citeşte tot articolul

Interview with Gheorghi Gospodinov: „I think the writer should be on the streets”

Gheorghi Gospodinov is one of the best known and most translated Bulgarian writers after 1989. He published four books of poetry, a volume of short stories (And Other Stories, 2001), two plays - D.J. (Don Juan's initials, 2004) and The Apocalypse Comes at 6 pm (2010, the American premiere was in 2014), but he also wrote scripts for short films (the most recent film is Omelette; mention at Sundance Film Festival, 2009) and he created a graphic novel, The Eternal Fly (2010, together with the artist N. Toromanov). Citeşte tot articolul

“I write trying to die later.” Interview with Toni Marques

One of the special guests at the International Literature Festival in Bucharest, seventh edition (FILB, 3-6 December 2014), was Toni Marques, Brazilian journalist and writer. He is also the story editor with Globo TV news show Fantástico, the curator of FLUPP, an international literary festival hosted by shanty town communities in Brazil. He has published four books and edited the anthology “The Book of Rio”. Citeşte tot articolul