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New Literature from Europe 2010

Just a reminder that the New Literature from Europe festival kicks off tonight with an event at McNally Jackson at 7pm.

This year’s festival is called “Haunting the Present,” and here’s a brief intro from the site:

Today’s Europe is a fascinating convergence of old and new, with high speed trains roaring past thousand-year-old towns. The past and present are never far away from each other, and this year’s New Literature from Europe festival explores this proximity by presenting some of the most powerful recent works of fiction by eight of the most important contemporary European authors. In Haunting the Present, the festival’s seventh annual series, the overriding theme is the continued sway of history on contemporary life. Readers will witness the changes over a century in one house in Bucharest and in another house on a lake outside Berlin as its residents flee each successive regime. They will be transported from the mythical Polish village of Primeval to a small, bucolic French town shortly after World War II, and beyond.

In this year’s New Literature from Europe, eight cultural institutes have teamed up to present a series of discussions and readings featuring eight critically acclaimed European writers: Philippe Claudel (France), Kirmen Uribe (Spain), Jenny Erpenbeck (Germany), Gerhard Roth (Austria), Radka Denemarková (Czech Republic), Olga Tokarczuk (Poland), Gabriela Adameşteanu (Romania), and Antonia Arslan (Italy). Moderators will include distinguished writer André Aciman, chair of Comparative Literature and director of the Writers’ Institute at the CUNY Graduate Center and Susan Bernofsky, Guest Professor of Creative Writing and Literary Translation at Queens College (CUNY).

That’s a pretty sweet lineup of authors and translators, and the four events that make up this festival all sound well-crafted and interesting. Here’s a bit of info on all the goings on:

Haunting the Present: A Reading with Eight European Writers
Tuesday, November 16th, 7pm
McNally Jackson

Translating the Past that Haunts the Present: A Lecture with Jenny Erpenbeck and Philippe Claudel
Wednesday, November 17th, 3-5pm
CUNY Grad Center

Haunting the Present: A Conversation with the Authors
Wednesday, November 17th, 6:30 pm & 7:45 pm
Center for Fiction

Eight European Voices: Reading and Reception
Thursday, November 18th, 7pm
The Czech Center



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