Wordfest: Sunday Afternoon Showcase: Timely & Tasty International Writers

Jenny Erpenbeck Jenny Erpenbeck | Photo: wordfest.com A global sampling of new work from the international writing community. French writer Camille Bordas presents her first book written in English, How to Behave in a Crowd. From Germany, Jenny Erpenbeck’s novel Go, Went, Gone is a scathing indictment of Western policy toward the European refugee crisis. New Zealand’s prolific Witi Ihimaera (his novel The Whale Rider was adapted into the internationally successful film of the same name) discusses his latest projects. Rounding out the panel is award-winning Italian writer and editor Nicola Lagioia presenting his English language debut, Ferocity.

Jenny Erpenbeck is a German opera director and writer. Born in East Berlin in 1967, her work has been translated into 17 languages. Most recently, her novel The End of Days won the 2014 Hans Fallada Prize and the 2015 Independent Foreign Prize. Go, Went, Gone won the Strega European Prize, the annual award given to a novel in Italian translation by a European author who has received national recognition in their home country.

Camille Bordas is the author of two previous novels in French, Les treize desserts, which won the Jean-Claude Izzo Prize, and Partie commune. Her fiction has appeared in The New Yorker. Born in France and raised in Mexico City and Paris, she now lives in Chicago.

Witi Ihimaera was the first Maori to publish a novel, Tangi, in 1973. His best-known novel, The Whale Rider, became an internationally acclaimed film in 2002. Today, he is one of New Zealand’s leading writers, with 14 novels, seven story collections, three plays and four film adaptations to his credit. He was a member of the international faculty at the Banff Center, and, in 2017, was awarded the French Order of Arts and Letters. He lives in New Zealand.

Nicola Lagioia was born in Bari and lives in Rome. His novel, Ferocity, won the 2015 Strega Prize, Italy’s most prestigious literary award; his books have also won the Volponi, Straniero and Viareggio literary awards, and in 2010 he was named one of Italy’s best writers under 40. The author of three novels and one collection of short stories, Lagioia is a contributor to Italy’s most prominent culture pages and a regular host of Pagina3, Italian national radio’s book and culture program. For many years, Lagioia has also worked as an editor at the Italian publisher Minimum Fax.

Jenny Erpenbeck is a guest of the Goethe-Institut