Festival highlights: New European Fiction & War

This year, there will be two World Voices events at Le Poisson Rouge, where PEN America had its own launch party back in October. It’s a fun space, right in the middle of Greenwich Village, and both these events look terrific.

The first—which will take place at noon on Saturday, May 1—is centered on Best European Fiction, an anthology published by Dalkey Archive that got a lot of attention earlier in the year. The event also reunites Aleksandar Hemon (who edited the anthology) and Colum McCann (who will write the preface to next year’s Best European Fiction), two PEN America favorites whose conversation in The Believer I highlighted a few weeks back.

As I understand it, the event will start with a conversation between Colum and Sasha about the state of fiction in Europe. Then three contributors to the anthology (Naja Marie Aidt, valter hugo mãe, and Jean-Philippe Toussaint) will read from their work before talking with Hemon about fiction in their respective countries (those would be Denmark, Portugal, and Belgium).

War” will bring together Deborah Amos, Philip Gourevitch, Arnon Grunberg, Sebastian Junger, and Daniele Mastrogiacomo. Amos covers Iraq for NPR; Gourevitch has written about war in Rwanda, Iraq, and elsewhere; Grunberg is a novelist who has visited Iraq several times in the last few years; Junger’s war reporting has been collected in a new book simply titled War, which will be published in May; and Mastrogiacomo is an Italian journalist who, in 2007, was kidnapped along with the journalist Ajmal Naqshbandi and a driver, Sayed Agha, while covering the war in Afghanistan.

These five writers will discuss the difficulties and the responsibilities entailed in reporting on wars around the world.

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