Two wonderful women, both novelists and poets, both with a great sense of humour, meet and talk for the first time. Hosted by Rosie Goldsmith.
AL Kennedy is a Scottish writer, academic, broadcaster, and stand-up comedian. She writes novels, short stories and non-fiction and is known for her dark tone, satire, blending of realism and fantasy and precise, often experimental writing, stressing ‘humanity’ and ‘love’ as her themes.
Her first book, Night Geometry and the Garscadden Trains (Vintage, 1990), won several awards including the Mail on Sunday/John Llewellyn Rhys Prize, a Scottish Arts Council Book Award and the Saltire Society Scottish First Book of the Year Award. Other short story collections include Now That You’re Back (Vintage, 1994) and Original Bliss (Vintage, 1997), and her novels include: Looking for the Possible Dance (Vintage, 1993), So I Am Glad (Vintage, 1995), winner of the Encore Award, Everything You Need (Vintage, 1999), Day (Jonathan Cape, 2007) which was winner of the 2007 Costa Book of the Year Award, and The Blue Book (Little, 2011).
She wrote the screenplay to the BFI/Channel 4 film Stella Does Tricks, released in 1998. In 2015 she wrote an episode for Doctor Who, entitled ‘The Drosten’s Curse’. She has written three children’s books.
She has won a variety of UK and international book awards, including a Lannan Award, the Costa Prize, The Heinrich Heine Preis, the Somerset Maugham Award and the John Llewellyn Rees Prize. She was twice named one of Granta magazine’s 20 ‘Best of Young British Novelists’.
Her recent fiction includes All the Rage (Vintage, 2014), Serious Sweet (Penguin, 2016), and We Are Attempting to Survive Our Time (Jonathan Cape, 2020).
Ioana Pârvulescu is a Romanian novelist, essayist and poet. She was awarded the European Union Prize for Literature for her book Life Begins on Friday, translated by Alistair Ian Blyth for Istros Books (2016). She is a Professor of Modern Literature at the Faculty of Letters at the University of Bucharest. She has coordinated the Cartea de pe noptieră series/Bedside Book at Humanitas Publishing House, has worked as an editor at the literary journal România literară, and has translated from French and German (Maurice Nadeau, Angelus Silesius, Rainer Maria Rilke, Milan Kundera, Saint-Exupéry, and Asterix by René Goscinnym, and Albert Uderzo) into Romanian.
She published several bestselling books about everyday life in the 19th century, between the two World Wars, and during communism. In 2018 she published a book about the prayers of certain literary characters from world literature, Dialoguri secrete/Secret Dialogues.
She has written four novels, all very well received: Viața începe vineri/Life Begins on Friday (Humanitas, 2009), Viitorul începe luni/The Future Begins on Monday (Humanitas, 2012), Inocenții/The Innocents (Humanitas, 2016), which is being translated by Alistair Ian Blyth, and her most recent, Prevestirea/The Prophecy (Humanitas, 2020), also translated by Alastair Ian Blyth, forthcoming with Istros Books.
Read an extract of her work on Translation Café.
The event is part of Romania Rocks: Romanian-British Literature Festival.