Two young writers who were growing up just before the fall of the Iron Curtain; their countries shared a common history for a part of the 20th century but are today committed to their own identity and sovereignty. The writers too? Is there such a thing as Iron Curtain literature?
Jacek Dehnel (Gdańsk, 1980) is one of the major figures in the new generation of Polish writers. His international breakthrough came with Saturn, a novel about the Spanish painter Goya. With his work he has been awarded Poland's major literary prizes. His recently translated Krivoklat deals with a madman intent on destroying major works of art while Lala is about a strong but demented woman who tells her life story to her grandson.
Jaroslav Rudiš (Turnov, 1972) is the new man of contemporary Czech literature. He is the first foreign author to be awarded the prestigious Leipzig Book Faire prize. His novel The End of Punk in Helsinki has been translated into many languages and deals with punk culture in the former Eastern bloc during the 1980s. Rudiš is also active as a musician. His latest project is Kafka Band, an audio-visual presentation inspired by the grand master of Czech literature.
The conversation will be moderated by Peter Vermeersch, author and professor European Studies at KULeuven.