The Edinburgh International Book Festival says it will host all the International Booker Prize shortlisted authors and translators over the next few weeks.
This free to access series is being organised in partnership with the International Booker Prize and the series begins on 29 May. The winner is announced in June.
Nick Barley, Director of the Edinburgh International Book Festival, said “This year’s International Booker Prize shortlist offers the first worldwide survey of novels published since the pandemic took hold and they offer plenty of food for thought. Our partnership with the International Booker Prize presents some of the most stimulating and thought-provoking writers and thinkers from across the globe who have been published in translation this year offering a rare opportunity to explore how novels are charting the progress of human history while it’s still in the eye of a storm.”
Olga Ravn has come to be regarded as one of the most influential writers in contemporary Danish literature. In her new book, The Employees, she has crafted a small masterpiece; brilliantly translated into English by award-winning translator Martin Aitken. Ravn and Aitken share their ideas with Scotland-based writer Heather Parry. Thursday 29 April 7.30pm.
Translator Megan McDowell and Argentinian journalist, novelist and short story writer Mariana Enriquez discuss the explosive collection of short stories, The Dangers of Smoking in Bed with writer, editor and translator Daniel Hahn. This translation marks the second time that Enriquez and McDowell have worked together. Thursday 6 May 7.30pm.
French-Senegalese author David Diop’s unforgettable short novel At Night All Blood Is Black paints a starkly different picture of the brutal 1914-18 conflict. Anna Moschovakisis the translator who has brought Diop’s elegant, spare prose to English-speaking readers as Diop conjures up a picture of fresh hell and takes his lead character right into the heart of it. Thursday 13 May 7.30pm.
The thrilling new work by Chilean writer Benjamin Labatut hovers somewhere between fiction and non-fiction. His third book, When We Cease To Understand the World, has been translated from the Spanish by writer and translator Adrian Nathan West. Labatut and West discusses this majestic book with writer, critic and translator Jay G Ying. Thursday 20 May 7.30pm.
Moscow-based Maria Stepanova’s astounding meta-memoir is a panoramic, absorbing reflection on the nature of memory, filtered through the lens of her own family’s history as Jewish people living in Soviet Russia. Superbly translated by poet, playwright and translator Sasha Dugdale, In Memory of Memory begins with Stepanova sorting through the possessions of her beloved aunt after her death and piecing together a picture of life in Soviet Russia. Stepanova and Dugdale discuss the work with BBC journalist Allan Little. Tuesday 25 May 7.30pm.
In his newest work The War of the Poor the French author Eric Vuillard goes deep into history with a engaging account of the life of a radical preacher in 16th-century Bavaria. Thomas Müntzer’s astonishing life is much less distant from an 21st-century English-speaker’s perspective than it may at first sound – not least because Vuillard’s short novel is as entertaining as a thriller and rendered brilliantly into English by Mark Polizzotti. Vuillard and Polizzotti discuss the novel with journalist Amelia Gentleman, author of The Windrush Betrayal. Thursday 27 May 7.30pm.
All six events are available to watch free of charge through the Edinburgh International Book Festival website – www.edbookfest.co.uk.