We've just heard the European Literature Night in London has announcing the biggest line-up to date, which includes prize-winning novelists, short story writers and poets - including the very wonderful Ludwig Steinherr. It'll be held at the British Library on Wednesday 16th May 2012. The two hour event starts at 6.30pm.
Back in January, the European Union National Institutes for Culture in London (EUNIC) put out a Call for Nominations for writers to take part. They had 50 entries from 23 countries across Europe, submitted by publishers, cultural institutes and literary organisations. A judging panel, chaired by BBC journalist Rosie Goldsmith, met in February to choose the final panel of writers to come to London on 16th May.
Naturally we're thrilled Ludwig is among the selected writers. Despite being one of Germany's foremost poets, he isn't that well known in the UK, so this is great opportunity to introduce him to a new audience. It is quite extraordinary that he isn't a familiar name here, since he's also an essayist, translator, editor and lecturer, has published 13 collections of poetry in German, as well as being translated into French, Czech and other languages.
We published his first collection in English/German, Before the Invention of Paradise (trans. Richard Dove) in 2010.
The event has been organised by Speaking Volumes, who tell me they're hoping to have some of these writers reading again in the UK between May and February, which would be just dandy. Fingers crossed...
For the time being, Ludwig will be reading alongside:
AUSTRIA's Paulus Hochgatterer - one of the leading contemporary authors on the German-speaking literary scene. His The Mattress House (trans. Jamie Bulloch) is a thriller that is as much about the everyday trials of life as it is about crime. It was published by Maclehose Press in January. 'He is Austria's answer to David Lynch' - 3sat Kulturzeit
DENMARK's Pia Juul - winner of Denmark's most important literary prize, Den Danske Banks litteraturpris, and author of five books of poetry, two short story collections and two novels. The Murder of Halland (trans. Martin Aitken) a crime novel which strays far beyond the norm, will be published by Peirene in June.
FRANCE's Laurent Binet - the first-time novelist won the prestigious Prix Goncourt du premier roman and the Prix des Lecteurs du Livre de Poche for his novel, HHhH. Harvill Secker will publish the English translation (trans. Sam Taylor) in May. 'Magnificent ... unsurpassable ... exerts a hypnotic sway over the reader' - Mario Vargas Llosa
HUNGARY's Noémi Szécsi - the author of four novels to date, and winner of the European Union Prize for Literature in 2009 for her second novel, The Finno-Ugrian Vampire (trans. Peter Sherwood), a linguistic tour-de-force and play on myths. It's set in contemporary Hungary and will be published by Stork Press in October.
MONTENEGRO's Ognjen Spahić - the best-known of the new generation of Montenegrin writers to have emerged since the collapse of the former Yugoslavia. He is a novelist and short fiction writer and his novel Hansen's Children, which has already been translated into six languages, was published by Istros Books in 2011 (trans. Will Firth).