Several Hungarian writers are guests at the Internationales Literaturfestival Berlin (ilb), along with Salman Rushdie, John M. Coetzee and 150 other writers. Péter Esterházy will read from Kertész's new book tonight at the Collegium Hungaricum.
Organized between 4 and 15 September 2013, ilb is one of the most prestigious European literary festivals. This year’s theme is the Cultures of Aging, with three of the events centred around Péter Farkas’s Eight Minutes. This short novel by a Hungarian writer living in Berlin was praised by FAZ as "A touching novel about two people who, despite their wrinkled bodies and self-forgetful happiness, declare war on a society that regards age as a chronic disease."
The German translation of Enemies of the People: My Family’s Journey to America by Kati Marton, an American writer and journalist of Hungarian extraction, was launched at the festival. In this book, the author exposes the methods and ways of thinking of the Communist secret service, using the secret police files on her parents, as well as dozens of interviews that reveal how her family was spied on and betrayed by friends and colleagues.
Many of the events are hosted by the Collegium Hungaricum, the Hungarian cultural institute in Berlin, including a talk with the participation of a Serbian and a Croatian writer – Bora Cosic and Roman Simic – on how Belgrade and Zagreb are being transformed by their prospective membership in the European Union, and an event featuring two Iraqi writers residing in Berlin – Fadhil al-Azavi and Husein al-Mozani – on present-day developments in Iraq.
Events organized by the Collegium Hungaricum itself include a reading by Péter Esterházy tonight from Imre Kertész’s latest book entitled Letzte Einkehr (Last Inn), to be published on 20 September in German. The volume includes a fragment of a novel and diary entries composed between 2001 and 2009 by the Hungarian Nobel-prize winner.