European literature night 2014: words, pictures, and wheels

With a mission to bring new books from around the continent to the people, tonight is the sixth European literature night.

In co-operation with 28 European National Institutes for Culture, the Czech organisers have brought the event to 24 cities this year. And it’s happening across Europe in Amsterdam, Bratislava, Yerevan, Kiev, Munich, Senec, Sofia, Trenčín and Vienna.

In London, the British Library has two events. First, the words: dystopian crime writers including the fabulous Witold Szablowski, whom you might remember.

Then, the pictures: graphic novels, to tie in with the new BL exhibition Comics Unmasked. The mostly female storytellers range from Spanish surrealism (Max, Bardin the Superrealist), Belgian confrontation with mortality (Judith Vanistendael ,When David Lost His Voice), Czech ethnography LekaIceland(Lucie Lomova, Savages) and German family memories (Line Hoven, Love Looks Away).

If you can’t get to an event near you, take a bike ride across the frozen north with this Finnish graphic novel Expedition No. 3, by Kaisa Leka and her husband Christoffer. It’s a beautifully produced and affectionately humorous retelling of an extraordinary story. Kaisa cycled all round Iceland on artificial legs. Pictures of the original trip and of her previous journeys across Europe are on this site, where you can also by the book.

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Posted in European Literature Night, Illustration, international, literature, translation

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