Perikles Monioudis, Nelleke Noordervliet and Brina Svit talk about writing in the Western part of Europe. In what language do they live?
How do writers in exile deal with their new and old languages? What about their mother tongue? In what language do they live? Little is known in the Western part of Europe about new writing from other parts of Europe. Still there is a new generation starting to write, if not in their mother tongue, in the language of the country they have chosen to live in.
With regard to the theme of Amsterdam World Book Capital, Open Book, we will discuss the phenomenon of exile literature in the (recent) European past and the present. In a series of 8 evenings we attempt to give an overview of some of the faces of exile in European literature in the 20th century, but we will also look into the present forms of exile literature.
Perikles Monioudis was born in 1966 in Glarus, Switzerland. His Greek parents and his sister, four years his senior, had moved from Alexandria, Egypt, two years before. Monioudis was raised in the German speaking part of the Swiss Alps. He then graduated from the University of Zürich (Phil.M. in Sociology and Political Science, 1993). He currently lives in Berlin. His many novels and collections of short stories have been translated into several languages and have received many awards, including the Swiss Writers' Association Prize, The Swiss Schiller Foundation Prize and the Conrad Ferdinand Meyer Prize. He published for instance the novels Flight over Germany and Palladium.
Nelleke Noordervliet (b. 1945) made her debut with Tine or The Valleys Where Life Lives in 1987, a fictionalized biography of the wife of nineteenth-century Dutch writer Multatuli. Since then she published many novels, short stories, essays and criticism. Her most recent novel is Snijpunt. In April 2008 she also published City of books at the occasion of Amsterdam World Book Capital, an essay on the book-history of Amsterdam.
Brina Svit was born in Slovenia. She is a writer, a journalist and writer of scenarios. She lives in Paris. Four of her novels were published in Slovenian, recently she decided to continue to write in French. So far she wrote two novels directly in French. The first one was translated into Dutch by Martin de Haan (Moreno) and published by Ambo/Anthos.
Margot Dijkgraaf is a literary critic for NRC Handelsblad and coordinator of SPUI25.