European Literature Festival 2016 Programme Announced

Staged in London each year as part of more than 40 simultaneous events across European capitals, European Literature Night returns with an expanded programme under the rebranded European Literature Festival.

European Literature Night presents some of the brightest literary talent from Europe to audiences and readers across the UK. ELN is an annual literary showcase bringing the best of the continent’s writers and contemporary European literature to the UK. European Literature Nights are hosted by the British Library, chaired by BBC journalist and presenter Rosie Goldsmith and produced by Speaking Volumes.

More than 50 writers and poets from 30 countries will take part in 21 events in London and around the UK.
From 27 April – 6 June 2016


Wednesday 11 May 2016, 6.30pm-8.15pm / Conference Centre

The centrepiece of the Festival, the Writers Showcase follows a day of talks and translation clinics at the British Library. Novelist and playwright Kate Mosse will deliver an opening address, before appearances by the six 2016 ELN Writers –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.

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). 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.

Rosie Goldsmith: “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.”

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