Books on exhibition at the First Nigerian Cultural Day in Berlin, July 2019/ Photo: Femi Awoniyi

International literature festival holds in Berlin

The 21st international literature festival berlin [ilb] holds on 8-18 September 2021, drawing participants from across the globe. During the 11-day event writers from all over the world gather in Berlin to present their work to lovers of literature.

On 8 September, French-Moroccan author Leïla Slimani will give the opening speech entitled “Call for Crime” at the festival. She will read from her novel “The Land of Others” in a subsequent event.

Among the authors who will participate at the 11-day literary fest are French-Moroccan author Leïla Slimani, Priya Basil [Kenya/ GB/ D], Nana Oforiatta Ayim [D/Ghana], Maaza Mengiste [Ethiopia/ USA], Naja Marie Aidt [DK], Ana Luísa Amaral [P], John Banville [IRL, via live stream], Jalal Barjas [Jordan], Javier Cercas [E], Louise Erdrich [USA, via live stream], Jenny Erpenbeck [D], Roxane Gay [USA, via live stream], Arnon Grünberg [NL/ USA], Aleksandar Hemon [Bosnia and Herzegovina/ USA], Judith Hermann [D], Hiromi Itō [Japan/ USA], Viktor Jerofejew [Russia], Tayari Jones [USA, via live stream], Lídia Jorge [P], Christian Kracht [CH], Etgar Keret [Israel], Hervé Le Tellier [F], Ijoma Mangold [D], Eva Menasse [A/ D], Ottessa Moshfegh [USA, via live stream], Adolf Muschg [CH], Yvonne Adhiambo Owuor [Kenya], Ruth Padel [GB], Olga Ravn [DK], Moritz Rinke [D], Helga Schubert [D], Sandro Veronesi [I], Willy Vlautin [USA] and C Pam Zhang [China/ USA].

Since 2001 the International Literature Festival takes place every year in September in Berlin. It focuses on the development of international prose and lyric poetry. The texts, poems and verses are distributed thematically into six sections: literatures of the world, reflections, international children’s and young adult literature, speak and memory, science and the humanities, and specials. They are presented to the audience in various forms and places. Most of the readings, workshops, talks and exhibitions are set at the Berliner Festspiele but also take place at theatres and other cultural institutions.

Since 2012, the opening of the international literature festival berlin has been preceded by the city-wide reading performance berlin liest.

The international literature festival berlin [ilb] has called on participation in a Worldwide Reading for the Dead of the Corona Pandemic on 5 September 2021. Over 50 individuals and international institutions have responded to the call and organized a reading each for that day. In addition, the ilb has invited about 50 international writers and artists to commemorate those who died in the pandemic through short stories, poems and statements in a virtual reading. The five-hour reading is also available retrospectively here.

Many of the festival’s events will be streamed live on the ilb website, and some will be pre-recorded and broadcast when the festival begins..

All information on events, venues and hygiene measures in force throughout the festival period can be found on the ilb’s website.

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