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LitLink Thoughts. The Publisher's View by Mitch Albert, Periscope Books.

The curation of a festival of literature naturally entails the “curation” of its participants. Lit Link excelled in this regard – the authors invited from the UK represented a very fine, accomplished tranche of contemporary British writing, and the publishers, for the most part, represented a scrappy, independent ethos and pride in advancing thought-provoking fiction and literary fiction in translation.



 

The Croatian writers chosen to read their work, meanwhile, exhibited a predilection for bold, frank, challenging, experimental material. Their writing seemed utterly of our time – that is to say, fresh and relevant, but also embodying a certain melancholy, a quiet angst that perhaps reflects the uneasiness of the contemporary Balkan state. This disquietude was intimated in several conversations with the various Croatian writers on the tour, and could be sensed behind certain facts about the country that were offered – such as the population drain that some argued was taking place as a result of the shortage of jobs, with a figure of 50,000 migrants to other EU countries over the past few months alone from one city. (Other facts were anchored more obviously in the country’s recent history, such as the revelation that Rijeka was the only city that had never elected a leader from amongst the nationalist right, and the impending change of heart over the currently named “Marshal Tito Square” in Zagreb.)

And yet, which country amongst us is immune today from a general sense of unease and glumness about the direction of politics, civil society, literature? Certainly, the ostensible theme of the Lit Link tour – “Despite Brexit” – pointed to the UK’s own complete turmoil, and it was presumed that the subject need not even be broached directly as part of the trip, rendering the theme ironic. No one complained. (More than one Croatian writer expressed a surreal dismay about Brexit, having once looked to Britain as a bastion of opportunity and freedom from the vantage point of their own, then-isolated country, and now having that equation virtually reversed in many ways.)

Needless to say – perhaps because we participants were so effusive about it during and immediately after the tour – the hospitality, conviviality and generosity displayed by the Croatian organisers and contributors was impeccable. Daytimes afforded ample space in which to get to know most everyone personally and professionally (not always easily done on such trips), to exchange views and to obtain a good frame of reference for the three cities visited and points in between. Highlights included learning about fellowship programmes, support for translation, the scarcity of literary agents, the earning potential for writers in Croatia, certain untranslated “greats” and even the lack of any firm distinction between “fiction” and “non-fiction” in Croatian literature.

Evenings were given over to the readings in highly compelling venues, and the parties afterward were no less stimulating in their way. Robert and Ivan formed an almost comically balanced partnership, and the result was an unrushed yet well-timed, well-planned tour over a considerable distance with attendant logistics.

The value of such trips for foreign publishers, I have long felt, lies not in the expectation that we shall return to Britain and immediately and automatically begin commissioning and translating titles from the country in question (although that can and does happen). Rather, having made a serious acquaintance with the literary culture and context of a place, having met with writers, publishers and translators and opened several channels of dialogue, having acquired a feeling for the nuances of the place and its language, we are fortified with an appreciation that informs all future encounters or opportunities with work and people from the host country. Having absorbed it all, recognition will thus be immediate at the next turn, and good work will often ensue (even if unrelated directly to publishing activity – these trips are an excellent means of extending “soft power”). Another benefit, Europe being what it is, is that recognition often spills over tangentially: familiarity with Lithuania ties into encounters with Polish culture, for example, as familiarity with Croatia can help establish a feeling for Serbia.

The Lit Link festival, coming up on half a dozen years of operation, has undoubtedly supported Croatian writers and writing in ways that are otherwise unavailable. It is not difficult to discern the benefits to foreign publishers and writers, either – and that brings us back to the care taken in curation and execution.

Hvala svima!

By Mitch Albert

 

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Nell Zink: Zidarčac

Nell Zink je nakon "kasnog" debija (2014) ekspresno od autsajdera postala književni događaj, te je sa serijom knjiga idućih godina potvrdila visoko i izdvojeno mjesto na američkoj sceni. The New York Times uvrstio je njezin ekološki osviješten roman The Wallcreeper među značajne knjige 2014. godine, kao i njezinu knjigu iz 2015. godine o temama rase i roda, koja je nominirana za nacionalnu književnu nagradu Mislaid. Roman Nicotine objavila je 2016., kao i zbirku novela Private Novelist. Hvaljena je od Guardiana do New Yorkera, premda im je bilo teško klasificirati je.
Rođena je u južnoj Kaliforniji, odrasla je u ruralnoj Virginiji, diplomirala filozofiju na Fakultetu William i Mary 1981. godine.
Bila je gošća Lit link festivala / Književne karike 2018.
Pročitajte uvodni ulomak iz njezina romana The Wallcreeper.

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Rachel Kushner: Bacači plamena

Pročitajte "motoristički" ulomak iz romana "Bacači plamena" Rachel Kushner, već pomalo kultne američke spisateljice, smješten u 1977. godinu. Radnja romana klizi od američke provincije, preko artističkih i intelektualnih krugova New Yorka do Europe prateći put junakinje Reno. „Ovo je jedno od najuzbudljivijih književnih iskustava koje sam imao u posljednjem desetljeću... DeLillo odjekuje ovdje, kao i Doctorow, kao i Carey”, napisao je o romanu Colum McCann.
Rachel Kushner rođena je 1968. u saveznoj državi Oregon, a odrasla je u San Franciscu. Njezini su romani prevedeni na 15 jezika. Živi u Los Angelesu.
Roman "Bacači plamena" objavio je Profil u prijevodu Luize Bouharaoue.
Pročitajte dio pa vidite dalje (a ide dosta dalje).

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Ana Škvorc: Strahujete li da se neću uklopiti?

Ana Škvorc (1991., Čakovec) prethodno je poeziju objavljivala u Temi i Poeziji. Studentica je hrvatskoga jezika i književnosti na Filozofskom fakultetu u Zagrebu.

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Branko Maleš: Mutno

Pročitajte izbor iz knjige pjesama "Mutno" Branka Maleša, za koju je autor nedavno dobio nagradu "Vladimir Nazor".
Branko Maleš (1949., Zagreb) spada među najznačajnije suvremene hrvatske pjesnike i pjesničke inovatore internacionalnog ranga. Autor je brojnih knjiga ("Tekst", 1978; "Praksa laži", 1986; "Placebo", 1992; „biba posavec“, 1996; "Trickster", 1998; "Vertigo", 2010; "Mutno", 2017, itd.), dobitnik "Goranova vijenca", a među ostalim je i član žirija nagrade "Sedmica & Kritična masa" za mlade autore.

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Viktorija Božina: Ulomak iz romana 'Turbofolk'

Viktorija Božina rođena je 1990. u Zadru gdje pohađa diplomski studij hrvatskoga jezika i književnosti. Tri godine boravila je u Americi gdje je završila studij informatike. Roman iz kojeg donosimo ulomak uskoro će ugledati svjetlo dana u izdanju Sandorfa.

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Catherine Lacey: Povrede

Catherine Lacey sjajan je američki glas nove generacije. Autorica je romana "The Answers" i "Nobody Is Ever Missing" te zbirke kratkih priča "Certain American States" koja upravo izlazi. Dobitnica je nagrade Whiting, stipendije New York Foundation for the Arts, bila je finalistica nagrade Young Lions Fiction. Njezini romani prevedeni su na talijanski, francuski, španjolski, nizozemski i njemački, a djela su joj objavljivana u The New York Timesu, Harper’su, Vogueu i drugdje. Časopis Granta uvrstio ju je 2017. u prestižnu dekadnu selekciju najboljih novih američkih prozaika. Između brojnih pohvala nazvana je i “DeLillom za milenijalce”. Rođena je 1985. u Mississippiju, živi u Chicagu. Bila je gošća Lit link festivala 2018. te nastupala u Zagrebu, Puli i Rijeci.
Pročitajte ulomak iz njene knjige priča "Certain American States" koja u kolovozu izlazi u Americi.

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Marina Gudelj: Lee

NAGRADA "SEDMICA & KRITIČNA MASA" 2017 - POBJEDNIČKA PRIČA

Marina Gudelj (1988., Split) diplomirala je hrvatski jezik i književnost na Sveučilištu u Zadru. Objavljivala je u Zarezu i na portalu KSET-a.

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Ana Miković: Pjesme

Ana Miković rođena je 1987. u Beogradu gdje je diplomirala na katedri za srpsku književnost s južnoslavenskim književnostima. Dio je glazbeno-poetske trupe Nebograd.

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David Szalay: Duge rute

Pročitajte priču izvrsnog Davida Szalaya koji je bio sudionik Lit link festivala 2017 u Puli, Rijeci i Zagrebu.

David Szalay rođen je u Montrealu (1974.) u Kanadi odakle njegovi uskoro sele u Veliku Britaniju. Objavio je četiri prozne knjige, dobitnik je više književnih nagrada, a 2016. njegov je roman All That Man Is bio u užem izboru za Bookerovu nagradu. Szalay je uvršten u prestižni dekadni izbor najboljih mlađih britanskih romanopisaca časopisa Granta, kao i sličan izbor novina Telegraph. David Szalay pisac je minucioznog stila, naoko distanciranog, sa suptilnim i vrlo individualnim pomakom u tretiranju prozne događajnosti. Roman All That Man Is ono je što preporučamo za dulje upoznavanje, a za ovu priliku smo odabrali kratku priču Long Distance koju je napisao lani za radio BBC.

Stranice autora

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