If you haven’t yet made it to this year’s International Literature Festival, then it’s not too late to get in on the action. The final three days of the ILB – which runs until Saturday, September 18 – are jam-packed with appealing events, many of them in English. Tickets are still available for the following highlights, all of which are at Wedding’s Silent Green unless otherwise noted (check the ILB website for up-to-date information on availability and ticketing).
This evening sees the last of the in-person events for the theme series “Words of Love and Hate: Misogyny vs. Female Empowerment”. UK-Australian author Evie Wyld will read from her award-winning novel The Bass Rock, a feminist gothic tale set on the atmospheric Scottish coast (Sep 16, 18:00), with accompanying readings from the German translation. Star Mexican author Fernanda Melchor will then present her groundbreaking novel Hurricane Season in an event conducted in Spanish and German only (Sep 16, 19:30). Berlin local Jenny Erpenbeck, perhaps Germany’s most celebrated contemporary novelist, will read from her freshly-published – and as-yet-untranslated – Kairos in German (Sep 16, 20:00 at Kino Babylon).
Friday’s roster boasts two highly appealing events from the “Echo. Echo. Indigenous Voices” theme series. The USA’s Louise Erdrich will present her Pultizer-winning novel The Night Watchman in English, supported by a German-language reader (Sep 17, 18:00). Later on, Silent Green’s highly atmospheric Kuppelhalle will host a poetry night involving five indigenous poets – Chile’s Daniela Catrielo, Canada’s Billy Ray-Belcourt, the USA’s Natalie Diaz (livestream), Mexico’s Pergentino José, and the New Zealand-born Berlinerin Hinemoana Baker (Sep 17, 21:00). For something different in between, readers who understand German may enjoy an event dedicated to the author Susan Taubes (1928-1969), a Jewish Hungarian who emigrated to the US, that takes the form of a conversation between her biographer and the editor of her published writings (Sep 17, 19:30).
The highlight of Saturday’s lineup must surely be the grand finale of the ILB’s series of events dedicated to the German author, translator, playwright and filmmaker Thomas Brasch (1945-2001). A German-language panel involving iconic the East Berlin author Annett Gröschner, the artist Alexander Polzin and the director Thomas Kleinert – whose feature film about Brasch will be released this Fall – will be followed by a concert from the singer-songwriter Masha Qrella, who made use of texts by Brasch in her album Woanders (Sep 18, 19:30). But German speakers don’t get all the fun: Nigerian-British author Irenosen Okojie will also be reading from Nudibranch, her critically-acclaimed collection of short fiction (Sep 18, 19:30).