Focus on Brazil: writer-in-residence Michel Laub
Meet the author
The meetings with writers at Passa Porta, prepared with passion, courage and thoroughness, are more than simply the presentation of literary works. We seek to achieve a genuine connection between writer and reader, and among readers themselves.Go to overview
Michel Laub will spend a month in Brussels as writer-in-residence at Passa Porta. This is a unique opportunity for Brazil expert Annelies Beck, a journalist and writer like Laub, to interview the author about O Tribunal da quinta-feira (not yet published in English translation). At Passa Porta, Laub will not only talk about his latest novel, but will also read fragments from it in Portuguese.
The Thursday Court
Imagine: your most intimate correspondence is suddenly out there in the open for every Tom, Dick and Harry to comment on your most personal thoughts and actions. Wouldn’t this be your worst nightmare? … Well, this is precisely what happens to José Victor and Walter in ‘The Thursday Court’.
The two friends have been emailing each other for years, Walter sharing that he is HIV positive and José Victor admitting that he is having an affair with a younger colleague. When José Victor’s wife finds out about the affair, she hangs up her husband’s dirty laundry for all to see. Walter and José Victor’s privacy is gone in a flash and the two are subjected to the merciless judgement of the crowd.
Michel Laub grew up in the Jewish community of Porto Alegre, a large coastal city in Brazil’s southernmost state. After studying law and journalism, he was briefly active as a lawyer, before rapidly making the switch to a career as a journalist.
In the meantime, he also took his first steps as a writer. In 2001 his debut novel appeared. By now he has published seven works which have been translated into ten languages. Diário da queda (2011), about dealing with the past, identity and memory, was the first to appear in English, under the title Diary of the Fall. It earned Laub the Brasilia Prize for Literature.
Other novels by Laub have also won prizes and in 2012 the renowned literary magazine Granta called Laub the ‘Best of Young Brazilian Authors’.
The nicest thing about writing, Laub believes, is the autonomy of the book once it has been published: ‘It’s like looking at a part of yourself that you didn’t know before.
Passa Porta, in collaboration with the culture department of the Embassy of Brazil