7th European Literature Days, 22-25th October in Austria

Our partners ELIT/Literature House Europe hold their annual get-together this week 22-25th October in Austria.
Featuring the UK’s very own A.L. Kennedy and many more writers & academics from all over Europe.


From 22 to 25 October 2015, European writers and literature experts meet at the European Literature Days in the unique setting of Wachau (in Krems and Spitz a.d. Donau) for a weekend of networking, discussion and explorations of European literature. “The Migrants” is the headline theme this year. Leading – and long-standing European – writers such as Najem Wali, Iman Humaydan, Jamal Mahjoub, Atiq Rahimi or Marguerite Abouet and many others explain their particular cultural understanding upon leaving their native country, how they became familiar with the language and culture of their host country and the personal role that they see for themselves in the place where they now live.

In her keynote address, the Scottish writer A.L. Kennedy reflects on whether and how European contemporary literature is changing due to the increasing numbers of immigrant writers from non- European cultures. Ilma Rakusa, a European cosmopolitan writer par excellence, responds to Kennedy’s reflections in the context of her multicultural family history that motivates her remarks, “I am a European writer. My roots are in the air, not in the earth. Homelands are my homeland.”

The European Literature Days comprise a symposium with invited and accredited participants. The focus is on themes chosen annually and presented by the Observatory for European Contemporary Literature, as well as public readings and literary debates with European writers, film screenings and concerts. The programme includes workshops and readings in schools and for a young audience at the Karikaturmuseum Krems. The collaborative work with the European Literature Youth Meetings enriches the European Literature Days thanks to innovative forms of contact with literature.

For the first time, in addition to readings this year’s programme features a film: Stein der Geduld (The Patience Stone), the winner of the Prix Goncourt, and a film of the novel by French-Afghan writer, Atiq Rahimi. The writer and filmmaker discusses his work after the film screening.

The European Literature Days Symposium in 2015 is also dedicated to other themes – France as a literary landscape, trends in European contemporary literature and, finally, innovations in the digital field of writing and publishing.

Discussions are based on preparatory blogs and dossiers published biweekly throughout the year in the Observatory for European Contemporary Literature.

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