In October 2014, English PEN hosted authors Fatos Lubonja (Albania), Peter Kristufek (Slovakia) and Francesca Rhydderch (Wales) for an event at Free Word Centre discussing: what does it mean to be an exile in your own country? All award-winning writers from countries on the edge of Europe, the panel shared readings and ideas raised in their latest works, all of which are variations on the theme of ‘internal exile’.
Lubonja’s The False Apocalypse (published by Istros Books and winner of an English PEN award) is a unique and disturbing insight into post-communist Albania, while Kristufek’s House of the Deaf Man (published by Parthian) charts the fortunes of a Slovak family against the vagaries of central European politics. Rhydderch’s novel The Rice Paper Diaries (published by Seren), set between Wales and Hong Kong during the Second World War, has just won the Welsh Book of the Year fiction prize.
A spectacular reading by Lubonja’s translator John Hodgson, a compelling extract from The Rice Paper Diaries by Rhydderch and Richard of Parthian Books’ humorous reading from Kristufek’s work brought all the books to life for audience and authors alike.
Take a look at photos and listen to the audio of the event:
Read more about The False Apocalypse, its author and translator on the World Bookshelf