Friday 30 August 2013

Berlin Reads - and We Join in

Berlin's International Literature Festival opens on Wednesday, 4 September. It features the usual festival-type smorgasbord of writers from around the world, with a couple of interesting themes such as cultures of aging and women's sexuality on paper.

Anyway, the festival has had a slightly controversial reputation in the past. One of the ways it manages to survive on its budget is by tapping into readers' raw enthusiasm. So they had a programme which consisted of normal Berliners looking after the visiting writers in exchange for free tickets, for example, and of course the seemingly inevitable army of unpaid interns. This year (and I believe last year as well) they have a special pre-festival section called "Berlin liest".

Again, the thing consists of people doing something for free. But we're doing it anyway because we're like that (and let's face it, most of the readings I've ever done have been for free). We'll be reading at 4 p.m. on 4 September at St George's Bookshop in Prenzlauer Berg. Other people (see the link above) are reading out in the open in public places, but that was a step too far for me, frankly.

Here's our particular agenda:

Isabel Cole will be reading from Annemarie Schwarzenbach's All the Roads Are Open.
Karen Margolis will be reading two classical Chinese poems from The Land of the Five Flavours.
I'll be reading from Tilman Rammstedt's The King of China.
Lucy Renner-Jones will be reading from Silke Scheuermann's "Lisa and the Heavenly Bodies".

The translations are all our own work. Mine is a sneak preview, as the book's not quite out yet.

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