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Edinburgh International Book Festival

Edinburgh International Book Festival 2013

This year, Edinburgh International Book Festival again earned its reputation as one of Britain’s leading international literature festivals. Alongside authors from Mexico, Poland, Israel, Sweden and Pakistan, a total of seven authors from Austria, Germany and Switzerland gave readings and took part in discussions during the two-week long festival.
Jenny Erpenbeck
After Erpenbeck’s great performance at Jewish Book Week in London earlier this year, she returned to the UK to talk about her latest novel Visitation. She was interviewed on stage by British author Michel Faber, who considers Erpenbeck to be ‘one of the finest, most exciting authors alive’ (The Guardian).
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Clemens Meyer signs copies of
All the Lights
Clemens Meyer
Meyer took to the stage with his translator Katy Derbyshire and British author Stuart Evers, who also wrote the introduction to Meyer’s stories – just out in English. In a fascinating and often hilarious discussion, brilliantly chaired by Stuart Kelly, the rain thundered down onto the marquee roof as the conversation took in the question of influence and the status of the short story – and two new terms were coined: ‘Dirty Surrealism’ and ‘appointed’ [the opposite of disappointed].
Nicol Ljubic
Reviewed in NBG Spring 2010, German-Croation author Ljubic’s Stillness of the Sea was published in English this year. He appeared in front of a full house to discuss writing after and about war with Penny Simpson, a British author whose novel is set in Croatia after the Balkan conflicts. Ljubic’s discussion of his novel and of the questions that it raises were as thoughtful, reflective and compelling as the novel itself.
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Nicol Ljubic
Judith Schalansky
Schalansky’s Atlas of Remote Islands takes readers on a magical tour through the world’s most farflung islands and archipelagos. She discussed this extraordinary book with Alastair Bruce, whose debut novel traces a man’s journey back from exile on an isolated island. Schalansky’s new novel, Der Hals der Giraffe (‘The Giraffe’s Neck’), is just out with Suhrkamp.
Julya Rabinowich
Rabinowich came to Edinburgh to talk about her debut novel Splithead, an enchanting story of emigration and exile from Russia to Austria. The same journey that the author herself took as a child, Rabinowich has injected parts of her own life story with energy, reflection and a fairy-tale aura.
Urs Widmer
Prize-winning Swiss author Widmer was in Edinburgh to talk about his novel My Mother’s Lover, just out in English. Widmer and his translator Donal McLaughlin were joined on stage by British author Helen Walsh.
Judith Hermann
Renowned Berlin author Judith Hermann came to Edinburgh to talk about her new novel-inshort- stories, Alice – out this autumn in English. If you missed her in August, Hermann will also be at Cheltenham Festival in October (see below).