We bring the festival to an end with a look to the future and the – exclusive – presentation of new work by five leading authors: Lize Spit, Lola Lafon, Olga Tokarczuk, Jeroen Olyslaegers and Thomas Gunzig will read from their forthcoming novels.
Writers generally work away from the spotlights, preferring to stay well out of sight of readers. The first readers of new, as yet unpublished texts are scarce and generally connected to a publishing house. Passa Porta asked five authors to take the plunge for once and to read from their latest work in progress – and to do so in front of an audience, in front of you. (The authors bring the texts, we provide the translations.)
About the authors
With her debut novel Het smelt, Lize Spit conquered the hearts of readers across Europe in no time. Exclusively for the Passa Porta Festival, she will read a fragment from her second novel in progress.
‘Back at my desk since this spring’, Lize Spit posted in May 2018 on her Facebook page. ‘The new book lies before me like a mountain waiting to be climbed and whose top is still out of sight. On average I bang away for six days, waiting for that rare moment of recklessness when I will dare to climb, when I will bash away at my keyboard as if my life depended on it.’
Thomas Gunzig will read excerpts from Feel good, his new novel staged to come out at the beginning of the school year, two years after his last one: La vie sauvage. It features the author's sharp pen, his inimitable sense of observation and his "sauntering" tone that lends itself so well to public reading.
Another writer who has a major new novel in the pipeline is Jeroen Olyslaegers. Although he is still enjoying his victory lap in the wake of his breakthrough novel Wil, with acclaimed translations out in French, German and English, he has already been working for some time on his next book, a historical novel set in the sixteenth century. In his distinctive, inimitable style, Olyslaegers will present a first fragment from Wildevrouw.
Lola Lafon’s new novel promises to be quite something, consisting as it does of a series of short stories each featuring a different protagonist, although each story revolves around a single, enigmatic protagonist. From the writing desk to the stage, literature doesn’t get much fresher than this.
Polish writer Olga Tokarczuk was famous in her own country already but as soon as she won the prestigious Man Booker International Prize, her work rightly found its way into the world’s bookshops. As yet unpublished in her homeland, and therefore especially for the audience in the AB, Tokarczuk will read from her new novel in progress.
With Lize Spit, Lola Lafon, Olga Tokarczuk, Jeroen Olyslaegers and Thomas Gunzig. The texts will be surtitled in French and / or Dutch. Passa Porta entrusted the translation of these texts to professional literary translators.
Passa Porta, AB