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Hay Festival

Annually in late May - early June

Hay-on-Wye. What images does this name conjure up? The meandering River Wye, the few streets of pretty houses, the ruined castle, the inviting pubs and inns. A Mecca for antiquarian and second-hand booksellers. A Mecca, too, for nature-lovers with the wildness of the Brecon Beacons beckoning and the night-time noise of owls and lambs. And once a year it becomes the bustling home to writers from all over the world, buzzing with conversation and debate, readings and performances. But beware, once a visitor has tasted of the Hay Festival, like the fairy food of Christina Rossetti’s Goblin Market, he or she is under its spell and will have to go back for more.

New Books in German at Hay Festival 2008

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Sasa Stanisic’s novel How the Soldier Repairs the Gramophone, translated by Anthea Bell, is the story of a young child caught up in the Bosnian conflict. When the shadow of war reaches Visegard, Aleksander’s world as he knows it stops.
This first novel was short-listed for the German Book Prize and writer Colum McCann says of it: ‘I love this book. It’s funny and heartfelt and it’s brazen and it’s true.’ Published in June by Weidenfeld & Nicolson.
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Daniel Kehlmann’s novel Measuring the World, translated by Carol Brown Janeway, has been a huge international success. It recreates the lives of two luminaries of the German Enlightenment, the naturalist and explorer Alexander von Humboldt and the mathematician and physicist Carl Friedrich Gauss, with humour and charm. The Publishing News reviewer noted: ‘I felt so enlivened by reading this delightful novel, finishing the book with such good cheer and hope…the sense of boundless possibility, the excitement of discovery…optimism and hope.’ Published by Quercus.
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Ilija Trojanow’s novel The Collector of Worlds, translated by Will Hobson, is a meditation on the extraordinary life of Sir Richard Burton, one of the most flamboyant figures of the Victorian Age.
Burton was the first westerner to make the hajj to Mecca and he discovered the source of the Nile with Speke. His translation of the Arabian Nights is one of the great moments in the encounter between Islam and the West. Published in June by Faber & Faber. 


Bruno Ganz has wowed and delighted film and theatre-goers through the years, from Wim Wenders’ Wings of Desire to the recent Downfall, as Faust in the Berlin theatre marathon of Faust I and II in Peter Stein’s production to his tender performance in the Italian film Bread and Tulips, to name but a few. This is a rare honour and chance to experience the Swiss-born actor in person and to hear him in conversation about his life in the films and on the stage. A warm Hay welcome will await.    


We are delighted to be involved in the festival and thank our own sponsors for their enthusiastic support, which has made these developments possible.
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