Meet the World: Journeys of Discovery
Meet three exciting European writers – Djaimilia Pereira de Almeida from Portugal, Goran Vojnović from Slovenia and Wioletta Greg from Poland – and hear them talk about their latest books to appear in English translation.
All three books bring us stories of young people who are coming of age and understanding their place in the world. They explore the vagaries of identity and belonging, family, self and history. Their protagonists are discovering own path the world, whether it’s in post-Soviet Poland, post-colonial Portugal or 20th century Slovenia. The authors share an interest in experimenting with form, resulting in a hybrid novel with digressions; a novel composed of intertwining stories; and a short novel making poetry out of daily life.
Djaimilia, Goran and Wioletta will be in conversation with our chair Erica Hesketh, chief executive of the Poetry Translation Centre.
This event will take place on YouTube. Please book your place in advance to receive a streaming link directly to your inbox.
In partnership with EUNIC London as part of their European Writers 2021 project.
About the writers
Wioletta Grzegorzewska (b. 1974) is a Polish writer who publishes under the pen name: Wioletta Greg. She was born in a small village in the Jurassic Highland of Poland, lived in Częstochowa and moved to the Isle of Wight in 2006, where she spent ten years. Between 1998–2019 Wioletta published two novels: Swallowing Mercury and Accommodations, as well as eight volumes of poetry. Swallowing Mercury, longlisted for the 2017 Man Booker International Prize, follows the interior life of a young girl during the waning days of the Polish People’s Republic. Published in English translation by Jennifer Croft in 2019 by Transit Books, Accommodations is a loose continuation of her previous novel. Her works have been translated into Catalan, Dutch, English, German, French, Italian, Spanish and Welsh.
Djaimilia Pereira de Almeida (Angola, 1982) is a novelist and essayist and the author of eight books, including the novels That Hair and Vision of the Plants. She has been awarded the Inês de Castro Foundation Literary Prize 2018, the Oceanos Prize 2019 and the Eça de Queiroz Foundation Award 2019 for Luanda, Lisbon, Paradise.
Author and director Goran Vojnović exploded onto the Slovenian literary scene in 2008 with his debut novel Southern Scum Go Home! (Čefurji raus!). The novel became an instant bestseller and gained notoriety after the police prosecuted Vojnović for defamation, and went on to gain him all the major national literary awards, including the Kresnik Award for best novel of the year and the Prešeren Fund Award, Slovenia’s highest award for artistic achievement. His second novel, Yugoslavia, My Fatherland (Jugoslavija, moja dežela, 2012), also received the Kresnik Award, was made into a theatre play and translated into seventeen languages. His third novel, The Fig Tree (Figa), was published in 2016 and once again received the Kresnik Award. Vojnović is only the third person to ever receive three Kresnik Awards in its 27-year history; he is also the first and only writer to have received the award for each of his novels. The Fig Tree was published in English in 2020 by Istros Books, translated by Olivia Hellewell.
Erica Hesketh is the chief executive of the Poetry Translation Centre, a UK-based organisation dedicated to translating and promoting contemporary poets from around the world in English translation. She has also worked at English PEN, Bloomsbury Publishing, Southbank Centre and The Pigeonhole. She curates occasional Shared Readings at the National Poetry Library and serves on the editorial board of the translation journals SPECIMEN and In Other Words.