Central European writers in New York

From Nov. 14 through Nov. 16 the 10th annual New Literature from Europe festival will take place in New York featuring a number of authors from Central (but not only) Europe. Top of the list is Czech writer of the recently published The Devil’s Workshop, Jáchym Topol (top of the list, in this case, means he’s the only one of the writers whose work I’ve read). Other attendees include Hungarian György Dragomán, Polish Witold Szabłowski, French author of HHhH Laurent Binet and more.

And the festival includes the opportunity to take five-minute cab rides with the writers, who will read excerpts from their work during the trip (hopefully they’ll take some kind of travel sickness medication because reading in a NY taxi, oh man!). This will be followed by a cocktail party (so they really better take something or they’ll feel horrible).

View the festival program here

Klíma’s crazy century

On Nov. 11 Czech writer Ivan Klíma will discuss his memoir My Crazy Century at the Czech Center in New York City. The book was published today and, it sounds pretty cool:

“In My Crazy Century, Klíma takes us from his first experience of oppression during WWII when his family was interned in the Terezín ghetto to his struggle as a dissident in the years leading up to the Velvet Revolution of 1989. In-between those landmark bookends, he writes of his life spent living and writing under Communist rule. Like many of his generation, Klíma briefly joined the Party—something he would later grow to regret as he witnessed its criminal nature. And when his work was banned after the Prague Spring in ‘68, Klíma began a twenty-year resistance against the Soviet backed puppet regime. In captivating detail, Klíma describes the atmosphere of publishing samizdat, the house searches and interrogations, the drafting of Charter 77, and the clandestine meetings alongside his peers, including Vaclav Havel, Josef Škvorecký, and Pavel Kohout.”

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