Author reading: Alexandra Salmela (SK)

Author reading: Alexandra Salmela (SK)

Slovak and Finnish writer, born in Bratislava in 1980, studied dramaturgy at the University of Performing Arts, Finnish and Finnish literature at Charles University in Prague. She lives in Tampere, Finland today. Her debut novel 27, or Death Will Make You Famous, was written in Finnish, and the book was named Best Finnish Debut in 2010. This was followed by Antihero, an extensive futuristic fresco novel, for which the author was nominated for the prestigious Anasoft litera award last year. „Almost every page will surprise you,“ wrote Gabriela Rakúsová, critic. Alexandra Salmela is also the author of many poems, plays and several children’s books: Mimi and Liza, Giraffe Mum and Other Monsters, Princess Monkey, Mississippi Boatmen and More Northward than North. She adheres to the advice: „If you want people to understand, don’t be ironic.“

Author reading: Petra Hůlová (CZ)

Author reading: Petra Hůlová (CZ)

Czech writer, born in Prague in 1979, studied Mongolian Studies and Cultural Studies at the Philosophical Faculty of Charles University. She is the author of nine prose books. She made her debut with the Memory for My Grandmother; she wrote an autobiographical novel titled Macocha (2014). She says about it: “This time I don’t want to tell the story of someone I actually have relatively little to do with. It was also a certain kind of adrenaline. To what extent am I going to let myself as an author near myself as a person. Whether I can be so fierce to myself as if I were just a literary figure. ”In her latest prose, The Brief History of Movement, she represents the future of a totalizing system founded and led by women with a goal to eradicate even the last remnants of sexual naturalness in men.

Author reading: Tanja Dückers (DE)

Author reading: Tanja Dückers (DE)

German writer, poet and publicist was born in 1968 in West Berlin. She studied American Studies, German Studies and Art History. She has published twenty book titles, writes prose, poetry, books for children, essays, theatre and radio plays, and regularly appears in prominent and alternative German periodicals. In addition, she founded the Preussisch süß chocolate factory together with the Berlin chocolatier Christophe Wohlfarth. Her novels Spielzone (Zone Berlin) and Der längste Tag des Jahres (The Longest Day of the Year) were published in Czech. In her work, she especially points out the hidden problems of contemporary German society, be it social issues or the relationship to the past. She says about herself: „I’m not some hundred percent chick from the West, I’m from Berlin, and that’s a world in itself.“

Author reading: Martyna Bunda (PL)

Author reading: Martyna Bunda (PL)

Polish journalist and writer, stemming from ther Kashubs, was born in 1975 in Gdansk. She studied social policy at Warsaw University and has been making her living as a journalist since she was eighteen. For many years, she worked for the weekly Polityka, she was nominated for the prestigious Polish Grand Press award twice. Her debut prose Nieczułość (Callousness) from 2017 catapulted her to the stars. „It’s a great, mature and exciting female saga. It is also a story of war, sacrifice, love, friendship, betrayal and loyalty. It’s hard to believe that it is a debut!”, wrote the critic Beata Igielska. The author herself commented on the book: „The time has come to address the experiences that have been destroying our families for decades. The generation of our grandparents has experienced the cruelty of war. Their children, our parents, were still through narration, or worse, the silence of their parents, too close to it, and so they were unable to reckon with the past. „

Author reading: Halyna Kruk (UA)

Author reading: Halyna Kruk (UA)

The Ukrainian poet and translator was born in Lviv in 1974, studied literature at the university there, and she lectures at her alma mater today. She is the author of five poetry collections (among others, Wandering in the Search of a House, Footprints in the Sand, The Face That is Not in the Photo) and many translations from Belarusian, Russian and Polish (including Wisława Szymborska and Stanisław Lem). As a literary historian, she focuses on the folk genres of the Ukrainian Baroque. In her poetic work, she follows the tradition of feminism and Ukrainian female poetry: „Oh, Sylvia, why does a woman have to pay for freedom more dearly than America?“ she addresses Sylvia Plath in one of her verses. She also writes books for children and about children; she contributed for example to the anthology titled Mum on Skype, dedicated to children growing in separation from their parents who work abroad.

Author reading: Viktor Horváth (HU)

Author reading: Viktor Horváth (HU)

A Hungarian writer and translator will spend several weeks in Brno as the festival’s artist-in-residence. Come to meet the author and his work, listen to his impressions of the Brno stay, but also to the experience of the writer’s life in Hungary. Viktor Horváth was born in Pécs in 1962 and now teaches at the university there. In addition to a number of poems, short stories and essays, he wrote several novels, two of which were published in Czech: Török tükör (Turkish Mirror) and Tankom (My Tank), where the author describes the events of 1968 up to the August invasion of Warsaw Pact troops to Czechoslovakia through the tragicomic adventures of a sort of Forrest Gump of the Eastern Bloc. “I intended to write a book on occupation, but the first motive was personal. Nostalgia of my childhood played a big role, I wanted to mark my roots and at the same time connect everything with my current personality. It was important for me to reconstruct my childhood, including the psychological side and experiencing the contemporary context. And during that time, I was faced with similarities between the current Hungarian situation and that period,” the author commented on the novel. The novel My Tank was nominated for the Magnesia Litera 2019 in translation literature.

In Other Words

In Other Words

In cooperation with the Větrné mlýny publishing house, we have prepared a programme section representing six writers from six countries whose history was affected by communist totalitarianism. Writers‘ public engagement in history has many times heralded the rise of groundbreaking social change. The role of a writer as an intellectual capable of recording the social climate of the time is hardly substitutable: one can capture history, anticipate the future, touch the invisible, entertain and teach, and serve as a litmus paper of social conditions. In addition to meetings with literary guests at their author readings and a common final debate, this festival programme and its permanent trace features the release of a book of essays named The Accession of the East?. Our six authors reflect on what replaced the dispute between liberal democracy and communism after the fall of the Iron Curtain. Together with them, we are looking for answers to questions about how the crisis of Western civilization manifests itself and what caused it, where in the dispute over liberal democracy are the United States today, where the European Union, where Central Europe; and we are even interested whether we may not find ourselves under a under Russian control again. We are looking for answers to questions for which there is no simple answer, yet we have a view that is different from the usual claims of politicians.

All programmes are interpreted into Czech.

We thank the Ministry of Culture of the Czech Republic for the financial support of this programme section.

Autorské čtení Alexandry Salmely (SK)

Autorské čtení Alexandry Salmely (SK)

Slovensky a finsky píšící spisovatelka, narozená roku 1980 v Bratislavě, vystudovala na Vysokej škole múzických umení dramaturgii, na Karlově univerzitě v Praze finštinu a finskou literaturu. Dnes žije ve finském Tampere. Románovou prvotinu 27 aneb Smrt vás proslaví napsala ve finštině a kniha byla v roce 2010 vyhlášena jako Nejlepší finský debut. Následoval Antihrdina, rozsáhlá futuristicky laděná románová freska, za niž byla autorka vloni nominována na prestižní slovenskou cenu Anasoft litera. „Takmer každá strana niečím prekvapí,“ napsala kritička Gabriela Rakúsová. Alexandra Salmela je též autorkou mnoha básní, divadelních her a několika knih pro děti: Mimi a Líza, Žirafia mama a iné príšery, Princezná opica, Lodníci na Mississippi a Severnejšie ako na sever. Drží se rady: „Ak chceš, aby ti ľudia rozumeli, nebuď ironická.“

Autorské čtení Petry Hůlové

Autorské čtení Petry Hůlové

Narozena 1979 v Praze. Vystudovala mongolistiku a kulturologii na Filozofické fakultě Univerzity Karlovy. Věnuje se publicistice, je autorkou devíti prozaických knih. Debutovala titulem Paměť mojí babičce, napsala autobiografickou novelu Macocha (2014). O té říká: „Protentokrát nechci po x-té vyprávět příběh někoho, s kým toho mám ve skutečnosti relativně málo společného. Taky šlo o určitý adrenalin. Nakolik si sama k sobě jako k osobě pustím samu sebe jako autorku. Zda k sobě dokážu být tak nelítostná, jako kdybych byla jen literární postavou.“ Odpovědi na to, kde začínají a končí naše práva na cokoli a jak komplikované břemeno vztahů dokážeme unést, hledá ve svém posledním románu Zlodějka mýho táty, který sama  definuje jako „sociální horor“.

Autorské čtení Tanji Dückers (DE)

Autorské čtení Tanji Dückers (DE)

Německá spisovatelka, básnířka a publicistka se narodila roku 1968 v západním Berlíně. Vystudovala amerikanistiku, germanistiku a dějiny umění. Vydala na dvacet knižních titulů, píše prózu, poezii, knihy pro děti, eseje, divadelní a rozhlasové hry, její texty se pravidelně objevují na stránkách prominentních i alternativních německých periodik. Kromě toho s berlínským čokolatiérem Christophem Wohlfarthem založila čokoládovnu Preussisch süß. Česky vyšly její romány Spielzone (Zóna Berlín) a Der längste Tag des Jahres (Nejdelší den v roce). Svým dílem poukazuje hlavně na skryté problémy současné německé společnosti, ať už jde o sociální otázky, nebo vztah k minulosti. O sobě říká: „Nejsem žádná stoprocentní buchta ze západu, jsem přece z Berlína, a to je svět sám pro sebe.“