The Seminar programme

The Seminar programme

The Seminar programme

September 24–27, 2009, The Swedish Exhibition & Congress Centre Göteborg.

Some Prominent Guests at the Göteborg Book Fair over the years

Douglas Adams · Adonis · Ama Ata Aidoo · Tjingiz Ajmatov · M Ajzenberg · Boris Akunin

Ananthamurthy · Lisa Appignanesi · Ryôji Arai · John Ashbery · Hanan Ashrawi · Nadeem Aslam

Paul Auster · Bama · Hira Bansode · Hoda Barakat · Julian Barnes · Sally Beamish · Antony B

Bennett · John Berendt · J. Bernlef · Homi K Bhabha · Hector Bianciotti · Wolf Biermann · M

· Joseph Brodsky · Suzanne Brøgger · Thomas Buerghenthal · Anthony Burgess · John Burnside

Cărtărescu · Javier Cercas · Aidan Chambers · Tracy Chevalier · Noam Chomsky · Hugo Claus

· Kevin Crossley-Holland · Robert Crumb · Michael Cunningham · Roald Dahl · Bei Dao · M

Diski · Jutta Ditfurth · Assia Djebar · Le Doan · E. L. Doctorow · Milo Dor · Roddy Doyle

Ebadi · Umberto Eco · Barbara Ehrenreich · Nawal El-Saadawi · Jan Eliasson · Harlan Ellison ·

Telles · Ruth Fainlight · Lee Falk · Oriana Fallaci · Giorgio Faletti · Susan Faludi · Lilian Fas

Follett · Richard Ford · Marilyn French · Jostein Gaarder · Neil Gaiman · John Kenneth Galbr

Pere Gimfeller · Richard Goldstone · Adrian Goldsworthy · Nadine Gordimer · Catherine Gowe

Einar Már Guðmundsson · Faïza Guène · Shusha Guppy · Ulla Hahn · Arthur Hailey · Githa H

Carl Hiaasen · Jack Higgins · Oscar Hijuelos · Reginald Hill · Ayaan Hirsi Ali · Shere Hite ·

· Tama Janowitz · Tove Jansson · Alexandre Jardin · Jevgenij Jevtusjenko · Zhang Jie · Erica Jo

Kemal · William Kennedy · Imre Kertész · Yasmina Khadra · Elias Khoury · Eeva Kilpi · Jam

Alexis Kouros · Ahmadou Kourouma · Tim Krabbé · Hanna Krall · Bruno Kreisky · Jaan Kross

Leon · Elmore Leonard · Doris Lessing · Bernard-Henri Lévy · Roma Ligocka · António Lobo

Robert Ludlum · Ana Maria Machado · Michelle Magorian · Claudio Magris · Norman Mailer ·

Marstein · Don Martin · Tom Maschler · Ángeles Mastretta · Ed McBain · Frank McCourt ·

Léonora Miano · Adam Michnik · Hasnaa Mikdashi · Rosalind Miles · Denise Mina · Ana M

Margriet de Moor · Alberto Moravia · Harry Mulisch · Iris Murdoch · Les Murray · Herta Mü

Norfolk · Igor D Novikov · Arne Næss · Christine Nöstlinger · Joyce Carol Oates · Peter O’D

Amos Oz · Orhan Pamuk · Boris Pankin · Inka Parei · Sara Paretsky · Tony Parsons · Glenn

Pilcher · John Pilger · Jayne Anne Phillips · Jordi Porta · Neil Postman · Terry Pratchett · D

Rambach · Ian Rankin · Valentin Rasputin · Ruth Rendell · Darcy Ribeiro · Alain Robbe-Grille

· Edward W. Said · Johannes Salminen · José Saramago · Josyane Savigneau · André Schiffrin ·

Helga Schütz · Simon Sebag Montefiore · Maurice Sendak · Vikram Seth · Alan Sillitoe · Silvia,

· Charlene Smith · Krishna Sobti · Philippe Sollers · Wole Soyinka · Art Spiegelman · Micke

· Desmond Tutu · Dubraka Ugrešić · John Updike · Andrew Vachss · Arkadij Vaksberg · Gor

Alan Warner · Sarah Waters · Fay Weldon · Arnold Wesker · Andrew Wheatcroft · Urs Widme

Woodward · Georg Henrik von Wright · Harry Wu · Andrew Wylie · Margaret Yorke · Adam

Göteborg Book Fair

– the largest cultural festival

in the Nordic region!

Since it started in 1985 the Göteborg

Book Fair has developed and grown and

is now the largest Book Fair in northern

Europe. This year we celebrate our 25th

birthday and we invite you to join us for

birthday cake during the Book Fair! In

addition we have reduced the price of the

seminar tickets by over 25 per cent. Come

and celebrate with us!

Have you attended the Book Fair previously,

over the last 25 years? Do visit our

25th Anniversary Blog. You can share your

memories in the blog, and read about other

visitors’ encounters in and experiences of the

Book Fair.


The Seminar Programme

offers 442 events this year.

We present the fifty seminars

which are held in languages

other than Swedish

in this catalogue, but

you can find details about

all of the programmes,

plus practical information,

on our website at

One area which gets bigger

every year at Göteborg

Book Fair is the International

Rights Centre,

Gunilla Sandin and Anna Falck in one of the many restaurants at the Swedish

Exhibition & Congress Centre.

IRC, where agents and publishers meet

to do business. Last year’s successful IRC

mingle reception is already being planned

for this year.

Spain and Spanish language literature

are in focus at the 2009 Book Fair, with

28 guests attending from Spain and Latin

America. Another group of guests is travelling

all the way from Singapore, while

a third comes from the Czech Republic.

They will all participate in various seminars

and stage programmes.

Literature from Scandinavia has, as always,

a prime position at the Book Fair

and this year there is an especial focus on

Norway. In addition we mark Märkesåret

1809, the commemoration of the 200th

anniversary of the division between Sweden

and Finland. Another theme takes

in The City Missions in Sweden’s focus

on exclusion. Several seminars will also

concentrate on HIV/AIDS in the world


The subjects are varied and the interest

in proposing and offering seminars at the

Book Fair was greater than ever for 2009.

So this year we have a sneak preview with

several programmes at the

Göteborg City Library on

the Wednesday. We also

continue to work together

with our neighbours The

Museum of World Culture

– wherever you are

in Göteborg you won’t be

able to miss that it’s Book

Fair week!

Welcome to the Göteborg

Book Fair, the meeting

place for booklovers!

phOTO: adam lundquist

Anna Falck,

Managing Director

Gunilla Sandin,

Head of Programme

Managing Director and publisher: Anna Falck • Editorial team: Johan Kollén, Annica Starfalk, Gunilla Sandin • Translation: Charlotte Rosen Svensson

Graphic design: Anna Wirsén, ananas • Cover: Sunny side up • Print: Elanders AB

Address: Göteborg Book Fair, SE-412 94 Göteborg, Sweden • Phone: +46 31 708 84 00 • Fax: +46 31 20 91 03 •


A Book Fair for everyone

The Göteborg Book Fair started out

as a trade fair for librarians in 1985.

Nobel Laureate Isaac B Singer was

the most prominent guest and the

Fair attracted just over 5 000 visitors.

Since then the Fair has developed into

the most important cultural event in

Scandinavia, a forum of current debate

and the foremost venue for Nordic literature.

However, Nordic literature is

not the sole focus. Every year, the Fair

has a focal theme or a focal country:

two years ago the focus country was

Estonia, last year Latvia and this year

Spain and literature in Spanish. Perhaps

your country will be at the centre

of attention soon?

phOTO: adam lundquist

The Seminar programme

– where a thousand thoughts are born

Seminars – 442 of them this year – are the

heart and soul of the Book Fair. Writers, philosophers,

thinkers, politicians and artists from all

over the world meet to talk about books, current

events and issues and the big questions of

life in front of an enthusiastic and knowledgeable

public. Every year the Seminar programme

has its own unique focus. This year Spain and

the Spanish language set their own stamp with

seminars on Spanish and Latin American literature.

An outstanding Seminar programme

phOTO: adam lundquist

The Exhibition

– the happening party for a hundred thousand book lovers

Imagine four days of controlled chaos, continually

punctuated by many different events, all

happening at the same time. And books, books,

books everywhere! A children’s author talks

about her latest book at one of the 800 exhibitors’

stands, a crime writer is cross-examined

at one of the exhibition’s many stages, a literary

society discusses a new and exciting aspect

to one of the classics, a cartoonist signs

albums …

An exhibition with more than 800 exhibitors

in 2008.

Statistics from Göteborg Book Fair 2008

101 280 visits

948 exhibitors from 20 countries in an area of 13 500 m 2

800 writers and lecturers from 30 countries participated

in 442 seminars

1 210 accredited mass media people

Publishers and agents from 20 countries were represented at the IRC

I am very grateful for having been

invited this year for readings and

panel discussions at the Göteborg Book

Fair. It seemed to me a lively, perfectly

organized event, a great experience for

every writer and reader of literature. I

could meet there many old friends from

Sweden and all over the world, publishers

and a wonderful public, very keen

to listen and interact with the writers.

Mircea Cărtărescu, Romania, 2008


phOTO: adam lundquist

Maria Vlaar, the Foundation for the Production and Translation of Dutch Literature (NLPVF), and Ola Wallin, Ersatz, in intensive negotiations

at the IRC.

International Rights Centre

– an opportunity to meet important people

The International Rights Centre (IRC)

is an important part of the Göteborg

Book Fair. The IRC is the right place

to meet publishers and agents, particularly

from the Nordic countries. The

IRC is open exclusively for people engaged

in this line of business. It offers

a separate lounge in quiet surroundings.

Here agents and publishers can

display books, conduct business and

close deals. Staff will be available to

assist you and your guests.

phOTO: adam lundquist

Nordic literature is always an important and

major theme at the Göteborg Book Fair. This

is why the Fair is the right place to get to know

the Nordic literature, to meet publishers and to

find the new writers from the Nordic market.

International agents and publishers also come

here to seek contacts and to display their publications.

Publishers and agents from all over the world

are invited to the Centre.

Open Thursday to Saturday

Please note that the IRC is open Thursday, Friday

and Saturday. The Göteborg Book Fair is

also open on Sunday.

Reserve a table and rent a shelf

If you are an agent or a publisher you are welcome

to reserve a table for meetings at the IRC.

You can also rent one or several shelves to show

current book titles. The tables and/or shelves

will be identified with your company’s name.

The IRC will be marketed by direct mail and

regular advertising in the trade press.

Price List

Table: SEK 1700 (approx 150 EUR)

Shelf: SEK 1500 (approx 130 EUR)

Extra shelf: SEK 600 (approx 50 EUR)

Contact me for more information

Ewa Bråthe, International Sales Manager

Phone +46 31 708 84 11


You can also find information on our website:

phOTO: adam lundquist


Windmills (Don Quixote’s “enemies”) in Consuegra near Toledo in Castile south of Madrid.

phOTO: antonio real hurtado

One language

– many different cultures

There is a remarkable richness in literature from the Spanish speaking world. The modern age

of literature alone includes the Golden Age, as the cultural movement lasting two hundred years

(from La Celestina to Caderón’s baroque dramas) is called. Cervantes’ Don Quixote was at the

forefront of this age, which represents a literature which is still alive today, and read, filmed, and

ceaselessly performed.

The early 1900s marked the start of a new

Golden Age – a time of cultural blossoming

brusquely cut short by the Civil War in 1936

and therefore sometimes referred to as a Silver

Age instead. Federico García Lorca spearheaded

this new generation of writers, alongside the

Nobel Prize winning writer Vicente Aleixandre,

and the flourishing of the arts was further

enhanced by such artists as Pablo Picasso and

Joan Miró, to name only the most renowned.

When Franco’s dictatorship in Spain led to

a cultural reserve in the country, Spanish writers

in exile and writers from Latin America

stepped forward to provide the powerful force

within literature. Writers on the periphery, such

as Jorge Luis Borges, were already writing in a

“postmodern” style in the 1930s, dismantling

all the boundaries between reason and fantasy,

and between the possible and the impossible.

He paved the way for the Latin American boom

of the 1960s and its well known writers – including

several Nobel Prize winners – such as

Gabriel García Márquez, Alejo Carpentier,

Mario Vargas Llosa, Octavio Paz and Carlos

Fuentes to name just a few.

These Latin American writers were often

launched by Spanish publishers, blurring the

dividing line between literature written in the

Spanish speaking part of the Americas, and that

written in the Iberian peninsula. The work of

contemporary writers such as Roberto Bolaño

illustrates the continuation of this trend today.

Literature and art as globalised phenomena

have been a central element of literature in

Spanish for many years. The Cervantes Institute’s

work contributes greatly to the recognition

that the Spanish speaking world shares a

common cultural inheritance.

However, the great changes in Spain in the

past thirty years have led to a seemingly unbreachable

divide between the generations. For

example, Spanish teachers maintain that the

dictator Franco is equally remote as an historical

figure as Philip II or Columbus’ voyage to

America is for today’s schoolchildren. While

the older generation carries their memories and

scars from the Franco years, the younger generation

has grown up in an entirely different

world, with completely different conditions, in

a democratic Spain. After many years of being


an isolated and backward country, the longing

for freedom suppressed during the Franco years

has exploded into a great creative joy. Directly

after democratization, cultural movements

such as “La movida”, spearheaded by Pedro Almodóvar,

showed how the new cultural landscape

in Spain could include previously taboo

subjects – a new cultural image of Spain which

spread worldwide. Writers who

grew up in the early days of democracy

have been shaped by a

very different time than those

writers who lived through the

Franco years. The younger generation

considers themselves to

be world citizens, part of a hightech

and ahistorical western society,

and without strong roots

in Spanish national history. Indeed grandchildren

of Spanish emigrés are finding that Spain

is now an immigrant national of great dignity

and economic expansion (at least until the current

global financial crisis). Both literature and

art in Spain today are under great commercial

pressure, and publishers use such strategies as

literary prizes, bestseller lists and author tours

to keep themselves alive.

The stories written in Spain today cannot be

summarised into clear and unambiguous categories.

On the contrary, the multifacetism of

them is what characterizes the contemporary

literary map.

What is being written? Well, stories may be

about the younger generation’s frustration at

the lack of values in the world, with its focus

on violence, drugs, sex and easy money. Many

such stories revel in a humorous, parodic, ironic

and playful narrative style, in which art for art’s

sake offers an antidote to the meaninglessness

of life.

They may be about the isolation of the (post)

modern man going through an identity crisis

without any permanent attachments left in life.

At this year’s Book

Fair you have the

chance to create your

own impressions of

what is happening in

cultural Spain.

They may be about a new approach to history,

presenting history on a microlevel. Such historical

novels do not focus on the powerful and

significant figures in history, but rather about

the man in the street and the effect of historical

events on his life. Many female writers – such

as Rosa Montero, Belén Gopegui, Lucía Etxebarría,

Marina Mayoral, Espido Freire and

others – offer a nuanced “postfeminist”

view. They point out

that the divide between genders

is not as great an issue as the fact

that both men and women must

keep on adjusting to a continually

changing reality. Older values,

which were based on social,

ethnic and gender differences,

are no longer relevant. Many of

Almodóvar’s films demonstrate this phenomenon

well, but there are many other voices from

film, art and literature creating an overall varied

picture of an important cultural nation in

the midst of deep change.

Thanks to the Göteborg Book Fair 2009’s focus

on Spain, we have the opportunity to learn

about many of the important cultural personalities

from different generations, who make

up this rich and diverse stream of the arts. Although

many of the writers have been translated

into different languages, only a few have been

translated into Swedish. At this year’s Book

Fair you have the chance to create your own

impressions of what is happening in cultural

Spain, away from the tourist traps and myths

of a distant, isolated and picturesque country

of flamenco and bullfighting.

Ken Benson, professor in Spanish,

University of Gothenburg

Spanish seminars at

Göteborg Book Fair 2009


10.00–10.45 Does it exist in Swedish?

10.30–10.50 Spanish language literature in


11.00–11.45 In search of her language

12.00–12.45 Babel and other tales from Mexico

12.00–12.20 The Happy book

13.00–13.45 La folia – the “Spanish folly” in

Swedish music

14.00–14.45 Spanish political transition

15.00–15.45 The art of enlightenment

16.00–16.45 To hell with the traditions

16.00–16.20 Memory in the transition,

memories of the transition


10.00–10.45 Bolaño in Swedish – how does that


10.00–10.45 The meeting in Andalusia

11.00–11.45 Round table about Spanish


12.00–12.45 Writing for the youngest readers

12.00–12.45 The big leap

13.00–13.45 Latin American regime critic

13.00–13.20 Heat

14.00–14.45 With an eye for love and football

14.00–14.45 I will not be intimidated

15.00–15.45 Lorca’s visual concept for the


15.00–15.20 Tradition v modernity

15.30–15.50 Twenty-five years on

16.00–16.45 Young Spanish literature:

a paradigm shift?

17.00–17.20 Memory and history: two views

17.00–17.45 The legacy from the Spanish

Golden Age

17.00–17.45 From Spanish to Swedish


10.00–10.20 Spanish children’s literature in

Swedish – does it exist?

10.00–10.45 Religion, morals and politics in


10.30–10.50 Spanish anglophile

11.00–11.45 The Basque country, Spain and the


12.00–12.45 Remembering Spain’s past

12.30–12.50 Suspect in Cuban Miami

13.00–13.45 The sorrow of a large family

13.00–13.20 How to be humorous with


13.30–13.50 Spain – a journey through culture

and history

14.00–14.45 The executioner and the poet

15.00–15.45 Spanish and Latin American


16.00–16.20 Desire for reality


11.30–11.50 One culture, three religions in

medieval Spain

Seminars in red are held in Swedish.

Segovia, with its Roman aqueduct, is a World Heritage Site.

phOTO: private


Voices from Spain

Authors, poets, literary critics, journalists, historians, screenwriters, translators,

professors and an illustrator … This year Göteborg Book Fair will be visited by a large

and diverse Spanish delegation. Read all about the Spanish participants in this year’s


phOTO: fernando otero

• Miguel Casado

Miguel Casado, who was born in Valladolid

in 1954, is a poet, literary critic and

translator. His first collection of poems,

Invernales, was published in 1985 and a

further five collections have followed since

then. Casado has translated such poets

as Arthur Rimbaud and Paul Verlaine to


phOTO: aina lorente

• Olvido García Valdés

Olvido García Valdés is one of Spain’s most

respected poets. She was born in Asturias

in 1950 and has worked as a secondary

school teacher alongside her writing career.

Until recently she was the director of the

Cervantes Institute in Toulouse. Olvido

García Valdés writes a modern and austere

existential poetry, taking up themes such as

sorrow, corruption and mortality.

phOTO: manuel ferro

• Agustín Fernández Mallo

Doctor and author Agustín Fernández Mallo is one of the most

distinguished members of the Nocilla Generation, a literary

network of Spanish writers born between 1960 and 1976 who

have chosen to distance themselves from ’the stiff 19th century

literature’ of the last 20 years. Fernández Mallo’s novels Nocilla

dream (2006) and Nocilla Experience (2008) have been described

as ’zapping literature’, fragmentary stories where the characters

come and go in a seemingly random fashion. As a poet, the 42

year old Spaniard is known as a creator of the genre of post poetic

poetry, through which he explores the relationship between art

and science.

phOTO: private

• Arnal Ballester

Last year Arnal Ballester was awarded the

Premio Nacional de Ilustración by the

Spanish Ministry of Culture, in honour of

his long career as an illustrator.

The Barcelona born 54-year-old has been

active chiefly as a book illustrator and

jacket designer. In 2005 Ballester participated

in the exhibition Illustrísimos at the

Bologna Children’s Book Fair, where the

focus country was Spain. Since 1998 he

has primarily contributed illustrations to

newspapers and journals, including El País

in Spain, El Mundo and the International

Herald Tribune.

• Rosa Montero

Rosa Montero was born in Madrid in 1951 and studied journalism

and psychology. She started working for several magazines

and newspapers (Fotogramas, Pueblo, Posible), but since 1975

she writes only for the daily El País, for which she was chief of

the Sunday supplement from 1980 to 1981. In 1981 Montero won

the National Prize of Journalism. She has published the following

novels: Crónica del desamor (1979), La función Delta (1981),

Te trataré como a una reina (1983), Amado Amo (1988), Temblor

(1990), Bella y Oscura (1993), La hija del caníbal (1997), El corazón

del Tártaro (2001), La Loca de la casa (2003), Historia del rey transparente

(2005) and Instrucciones para salvar el mundo (2007).

Monteros works have been translated to 20 languages.

phOTO: private

• Nuria Amat

In the Spanish-Catalan author Nuria Amat’s

writings, search for one’s own voice is

often a central theme. The auto-fictive

novel Intimacy is a portrayal of a woman’s

upbringing in an upper middle class intellectual

home, and her fight to find her own

voice. Nuria Amat, who was born in Barcelona

in 1950, made her debut in 1979 with

the poetry collection Pan de boda and her

first novel El ladrón de libros was published

in 1988. Although Amat is Catalan she

has chosen to write in Spanish, a decision

perceived as traitorous by some in fiercely

nationalist Catalonia. Queen Cocaine was

nominated for the Rómulo Gallego prize,

the Spanish speaking world’s most prestigious

literary prize, and is available in Swedish

translation, Drottning av Amerika.


phOTO: private

• José Oneto

The journalist and author José Oneto, who

was born in 1942, has won several prestigious

prizes for his journalism. In 1974 he

started to write about economics and politics

in the weekly magazine Cambio 16.

During Oneto’s time as editor of the magazine

(1975–85) circulation reached over

500,000 copies and the magazine became

a standard for Spain’s transition to democracy

and its further political development.

Today he is a political commentator

on Spanish radio and television, and also

writes columns for the weekly magazines

Tiempo and El Periódico de Cataluña.

phOTO: isabel ruiz

phOTO: paco sánchez

phOTO: private

• Andrés Neuman

Argentinian born Andrés Neuman caused a stir with his first novel

Bariloche (1999), which was named as one of the best ten novels

of 1999 by the newspaper El Mundo. Several of his subsequent

novels have been awarded literary prizes. He has also published

several collections of short stories and poetry.

Neumann was born in 1977 in Buenos Aires, where he spent his

early childhood years before his family moved to Granada, Spain.

Today he is a columnist for the literary supplement of the Spanish

newspaper ABC and for Clarin, in Argentina, in addition to writing

for several other newspapers in Spain and Latin America.

• Fernando Iwasaki

Fernando Iwasaki is a prose writer, essayist,

literary critic and historian, whose

work has been translated into Russian,

English, French, Italian, Greek, Rumanian

and Korean. Iwasaki was born in Lima,

Peru in 1961 and has lived in Seville, Spain

since 1989. He is a columnist in the Spanish

daily newspaper ABC and editor for

the literary journal Renacimiento.

phOTO: isabel ruiz

phOTO: private

• Ramón Pernas

Ramón Pernas is a novelist, screenwriter, journalist and literary

critic. As a journalist, writer and screenwriter, his career has always

centred around culture. Pernas has written for such magazines

and journals as Tiempo and Interviú and has been a columnist

for Cuadernos del Norte and the newsagency OTR. In

1999, he was awarded the Ateneo de Sevilla Prize for his novel

Paso a dos. Pernas has written five other novels and a great many

short stories.

Pernas, who was born in 1952, is currently editor of Ámbito Cultural

and contributes articles to a variety of media, including the

newspaper La Voz de Galicia.

Rafael Escuredo

Rafael Escuredo is a Spanish politician who was born in 1944,

and became the first president of the autonomous community of

Andalusia in 1982. Escuredo studied law at the University of Seville

and worked from 1968 to 1977 as a labour rights lawyer.

phOTO: private

• Rafael Chirbes

Thanks to his novels about the Franco regime

and its consequences, Rafael Chirbes

has achieved a reputation as one of the foremost

portrayers of Spain. Chirbes, who was

born in 1949, studied modern Spanish history

in Madrid and began his writing career

by reviewing films and books for different

newspapers. He lived in both Paris and Morocco,

before returning to Spain and writing

his first novel Mimoun.

• Laura Gallego

Laura Gallego is the most popular children’s

and young adult’s author in Spain.

She writes mainly fantasy and has been

compared with both J.R.R. Tolkien and

J.K. Rowlings. Her trilogy The Idhún’s

Memories is her biggest success and bestseller.

Gallego started to write at the age

of eleven. Ten years later she published

her first novel, Finis Mundi, which won

the literary prize Barco de Vapor. Today

she has written over thirty books, primarily

within the fantasy genre, which have

been translated into more than a dozen

languages. Gallego, who was born in 1977,

has a degree in philology and has completed

a doctorate in medieval literature,

alongside her writing.


phOTO: ulla montan

phOTO: private

• Javier Marías

Javier Marías, who was born in 1951, spent

a part of his childhood in the USA due

to the anti-Franco views of his father, the

major philosopher Julián Marías. Javier

Marías published his first book at the age

of 19, and has since written eleven more

novels which have been translated into 37

languages and sold in the millions. He has

taught at Oxford and translated such classics

as Rudyard Kipling, Joseph Conrad,

William Faulkner and William Shakespeare

to Spanish. In his homeland he is

also an admired columnist who is as likely

to write about Shakespeare as football.

phOTO: daniel mordzinski

• Bernardo Atxaga

One of the most important Basque writers, Bernardo Atxaga, has

been compared with William Faulkner in his ability to create his

own literary universe. He often returns to the Spanish civil war

and the resistance movement in his books.

Atxaga, born in 1951, writes primarily in Basque and translates

his work to Spanish himself. His breakthrough came in 1988 with

Obabakoak which has been translated into 25 languages. Before

he decided to concentrate on his writing full time in 1980, Atxaga

worked as a professor in the Basque language, among other things.

• Manuel Vilas

The poet and writer Manuel Vilas, born in

1962, is a trendsetter who has succeeded

in reaching a young public in recent years.

His poetry collection Calor was nominated

to Book of the Year by the influential

literary journal Quimera last year. In his

latest novel España Vilas considers Spain’s

and the Spanish speaking world’s history

from a science fiction perspective.


phOTO: isabel ruiz

• Justo Jorge Padrón

The poet Justo Jorge Padrón’s poems have

been translated into no fewer than 44 languages.

He has been awarded many prizes,

including the 1972 International Award of

the Swedish Academy, which is awarded

to translators from Swedish to foreign languages.

Jorge Padrón has studied literature

and Scandinavian languages at the universities

in Stockholm and Oslo, and has

published 16 poetry collections.

• Santos Juliá

The historian Santos Juliá, who was born

in 1940, is the author of a long list of books

about Spanish 20th century history. He

has researched at the Hoover Institution

on War, Revolution and Peace at Stanford

University and at the Iberian Centre in

Oxford, as well as being Visiting Professor

at the University of California at San

Diego, the University of Washington in

Seattle, the University of Mar del Plata

in Argentina and at the École des Hautes

Études en Sciences Sociales in Paris. He

has covered Spanish domestic politics for

El País since 1994.

phOTO: isabel ruiz

phOTO: malcolm

phOTO: el país

• Reyes Mate

The philosopher Reyes Mate has concentrated on researching

the political dimension of reason, history and religion. He was

born in Valladolid in 1942 and studied in Paris, Madrid, Rome

and Münster. Mate is a professor at the Institute of Philosophy

at Consejo Superior de Investigaciones Científicas (The Spanish

National Research Council) in Madrid.

• Ignacio Martínez de Pisón

The multiple-prize-winning prose writer and screenwriter Martínez

de Pisón was born in Zaragoza in 1960 and has lived in Barcelona

since 1982. Several of his books have been made into films, such as

Carreteras secundarias (Back Roads) (1997), directed by Emilio Martínez

Lázaro. Martínez de Pisón is also a literary critic for the literary

supplement of the Spanish daily newspaper ABC. He took university

degrees in both Spanish and Italian philology at university.

Voices from Latin America

This year’s focal theme includes several prominent authors from Latin America.

phOTO: lori barra

phOTO: private

• Isabel Allende, Chile / USA

Isabel Allende is one of the world’s most read authors. She made

her debut in 1982 with the novel The House of the Spirits, which

gained worldwide success, and since then she has published 16

books, including three for children and young adults. Allende’s

latest book The Sum of Our Days takes the form of a letter to her

dead daughter Paula. Allende depicts everyday and dramatic happenings

in her international extended family, unsentimentally,

revealingly and with humour. At the same time the book is interwoven

with grief for Paula and her own spiritual search to find a

meaning in life.

Isabel Allende was born in 1942. She went into voluntary exile

after the Chilean military coup in 1973, and lives today in California.

• Ignacio Padilla, Mexico

The acclaimed writer Ignacio Padilla, who

was born in 1968 in Mexico City, is one of

the founders of the Crack Movement. The

movement started in the beginning of the

1990s as a backlash against the magic realism

prevalent in Latin American writing,

and challenged writers to find their own

voices. Padilla points to the Argentinian

writer Jorge Luis Borges as a shining example

in this regard.

When Vicente Fox was elected president

in Mexico in 2000, Padilla was named

as cultural attaché to the Ambassador in

London, which was both the beginning of

Mexico’s bid to present a new cooler image

to the world, and a perfect assignment

for Padilla who speaks no fewer than seven


Padilla’s novel Amfitryon, an epic tale featuring

the Nazi Adolf Eichman, is now

available in Swedish translation.

phOTO: iván giménez

phOTO: richard foreman

• Guillermo Arriaga, Mexico

The Oscar-nominated Guillermo Arriaga

is responsible for the intricate manuscripts

behind such acclaimed and prize-winning

films as Amores Perros, 21 gram and Babel.

He is also the author of three novels,

two of which have been made into films:

Escuadrón Guillotina and El Búfalo de la

Noche. A consistent theme in Arriaga’s

work is how the dead influence the living.

Arriaga was born in Mexico City in 1958

and brought up in one of the rougher areas

of the capital city. Before he devoted himself

to full time writing he tried out many

other careers, including being a boxer, a

basketball player and a football player.

• Horacio Castellanos Moya, El Salvador

Horacio Castellanos Moya is one of El Salvador’s leading writers.

He writes subtly about the contradictions and hypocrisy inherent

in Central American society. After publication of his third novel,

El asco [Nausea], in which he criticized politics in his homeland,

Castellanos Moya was forced to leave the country because of repeated

death threats. He had previously been forced to live in exile

because of the civil war in El Salvador. Castellanos Moya until recently

lived in Pittsburgh as a Cities of Refuge writer-in-residence

and Visiting Professor at the university there. This autumn and

winter he will be working at the University of Tokyo.

Moya was born in 1957 in Tegucigalpa, Honduras. His books

have been translated into several languages, including English,

French, German and Italian. Moya’s novel Senselessness was on the

longlist for the best translated book in 2008, in the USA, and is

now available in Swedish translation, Sanslöshet.

phOTO: c r gaillarde phOTO: marco alar

• Lydia Cacho, Mexico

Lydia Cacho is a controversial journalist

and human rights activist in her homeland

of Mexico. In her book Los demonios del

Edén [The Demons of Eden] she exposed

a child prostitution and pornography ring

in Cancun. After this exposé, Cacho was

threatened with torture, persecution and

death, leading the UN Human Rights

Council to advise her to leave Mexico, and

to offer her political asylum.

Lydia Cacho, who was born in 1963 in

Mexico City, was awarded Amnesty International’s

Ginetta Sagan Award for

Women and Children’s Rights in 2007.

In 2008 she received the Tucholsky Prize,

awarded by Swedish PEN to a persecuted,

threatened or exiled writer or publicist.

Her new book Memorias de una infamia is

now available in Swedish translation, Jag

låter mig inte skrämmas.

• David Toscana, Mexico

The writer David Toscana gets much inspiration

for his novels from such Spanish

classics as Cervantes and Calderon de

la Barca, but also from Latin American

writers such as Juan Carlos Onetti and

José Donoso. David Toscana, born in

Monterey in 1961, made his debut as an

author when he was in his 30s. His work

has been translated into German, Arabic,

Greek, English, Portuguese and Serbian.

Toscana’s novel The Last Reader is now

available in Swedish translation.


Voices from the Czech Republic

This year some of Czech literature’s most outstanding writers are visiting the Book Fair together with literary

scholars and translators. We look forward to interesting discussions on the state of literature today, and the presentation

of several new works in Swedish translation, including an anthology of contemporary short stories. Two

decades after the fall of Communism, Czech literature has developed into an exciting and multifacted world

with a colourful melange of established authors and innovative novices, a world which, with few exceptions, has

remained unknown to Swedes. Visitors to the Book Fair have a wonderful opportunity to get to know this literature

in seminars, at readings and through meetings with the writers and their works at the Czech exhibit. This

exciting venture has been set up by the Czech Centre in Stockholm and Stockholm University.

phOTO: private

• Miloslava Slavíčková

Miloslava Slavíčková is a professor emeritus in the Czech language.

Her research focuses on the Czech author Bohumil Hrabal’s writings,

with particular emphasis on the usage of the collage method

in his literary works, which are often compiled of quotations from

other author’s texts.

During the Communist era Miloslava Slavíčková worked for many

years together with the Charta 77 Foundation and edited the

journal Voices from Czechosolovakia/Czech and Slovak Voices.

She was also instrumental in founding the Jaroslav Seifert Literary

Prize, and serves on the jury for it. Nowadays she works on

cultural exchanges between Sweden and the Czech Republic in

conjunction with the Czech radio station Vltava. The most recent

contribution is a programme about Czech themes in Swedish literature,

illustrated by excerpts from Carola Hansson’s and Steve

Sem-Sandberg’s work.

Czech seminars at

Göteborg Book Fair 2009


13.00–13.20 Swedish-Czech cultural contacts

15.00–15.45 The future for literature 20 years

after the Wall

16.30–16.50 Letters from Hrabal


10.00–10.20 On European history

13.00–13.20 In velvet footsteps

Seminars in red are held in Swedish.

phOTO: michael werner

• Jaroslav Rudiš

Author, journalist and musician Jaroslav

Rudiš’ big breakthrough came with the

novel Nebe pod Berlínem [The Sky under

Berlin], which won the Jiří Orten Prize for

young writers and was one of the bestselling

books in the Czech Republic in 2002.

Together with the illustrator Jaromír 99,

he has published a cult trilogy of graphic

novels about a lonely railway employee

who watches trains from all over Europe

pass by his little station. Rudiš, who was

born in 1972, is also host of the literary

music show EKG at Prague’s Archa Theatre,

and plays in the rock band U-Bahn.

Dagmar Hartlová

Dagmar Hartlová, born 1951, is a translator

from Swedish and Norwegian, and

has taught modern Swedish Literature and

literary translation at Charles University

in Prague. She has translated over thirty

novels, plays and children’s books, as well

as an anthology of Swedish poetry. She

worked on the publication and translation

of August Strindberg’s selected plays

(2000, 2004) and was editor and member

of the collective which compiled the comprehensive

Nordic writers dictionary. Between

1984 and 2002 she worked at the

Swedish Embassy in Prague on cultural

exchange issues.

phOTO: private phOTO: david port

• Jáchym Topol

Poet, prose-writer and rock-music lyricist

Jáchym Topol was one of the prominent

figures in the Czech underground scene

during the Communist era, and is seen today

as a cult writer in his homeland.

Topol was born in 1962 into a well-known

literary family. His father is Josef Topol,

the renowned dramatist and Shakespeare

translator. Topol was not allowed to study

at university and instead made a living

through various jobs including as a stoker

and warehouse worker. In 1985 he cofounded

the samizdat magazine Revolver,

which is still one of the most important

literary magazines in the Czech Republic

today. He signed the Charta 77 manifesto

as an 18-year-old and was active in the Velvet


Since 1989 Topol has worked as a journalist

and author. His major literary breakthrough

came with the novel City, Sister, Silver in

1994, after which he has published many

more novels and established himself as one

of the most significant contemporary authors

in the Czech Republic – and Europe –

today. His books have been translated into

many languages. Noční práce [Nightwork]

has been particularly acclaimed, both at

home and abroad and is now available in

Swedish translation, Nattarbete.


Voices from Singapore

Singapore is among the world’s youngest and smallest nations. It achieved political self-rule from the British in

1959 and became an independent nation in 1965. Nevertheless, the literature of Singapore is the fruit of a long

period of immigration that predates Independence; it has always drawn from and continues to participate in

some of the richest and deepest cultural traditions in the world. This year’s Book Fair will be visited by some of

Singapore’s most prominent and exciting writers. The audience is promised an insightful look into the Singaporean

literature which is complex, diverse and cosmopolitan.

phOTO: wee khim

Isa Kamari

Isa Kamari is one of Singapore’s most experimental

novelists. His best known book

is Satu Bumi (1998), a novel about Singapore

during and after the Second World


Kamari, who was born in 1960, is a qualified

architect. He has also written several

poetry collections, scripts for television

dramas, lyrics and plays.

phOTO: private

phOTO: private

• Yong Shu Hoong

The poet and journalist Yong Shu Hoong

made his debut in 1997 with the collection

Isaac, which was nominated for the

National Book Development Council of

Singapore’s Book Award. He was awarded

the Singapore Literature Prize in 2006 for

his third poetry collection, Frottage.

Yong Shu Hoong was born in 1966 and

has a degree in Computer Science from

the National University of Singapore. He

writes for several newspapers and magazines,

such as BigO, The New Paper and

The Straits Times.

phOTO: wee khim

• Edwin Thumboo

Edwin Thumboo is one of the pioneers

of Singaporean literature and has been

praised as one of the original poets writing

in English in South East Asia. Thumboo,

born in 1933, grew up in a Singapore

which is totally different from today’s hectic

world metropolis. He has often commented

growing up in Singapore has made

him extra aware of the beauty of nature.

At the start of his writing career, Thumboo

was influenced by the literary traditions of

the colonial power of Great Britain. However,

after Singapore gained independence

in 1965 he changed track, feeling that the

poets and writers of Singapore should aim

to create a national literature.

•Wena Poon

Wena Poon was born in Singapore in 1974 and now lives

in the US. Her books reflect both her Singaporean identity

and her American experience. Poon’s first short story

collection Lions in Winter (2007) is about Singaporeans

who live in the West as well as presenting a portrait of

her homeland’s unique multilingual postcolonial identity.

Poon has also written a second short story collection and two novels

of a science fiction trilogy. She has a degree in English Literature

from Harvard and a law degree from Harvard Law School,

and is a partner in a California law firm.

• Catherine Lim

Catherine Lim is Singapore’s most famous

writer. She has published ten short story

collections, five novels and two poetry collections

since her writing debut in the late

1970s. A recurring theme in her work is

the role of women in traditional Chinese


Her most successful book to date is The

Bondmaid (1995) which has sold over

75,000 copies, and was made into a film.

Catherine Lim was born in Malaysia in 1942 and emigrated to

Singapore at the age of 26. She studied applied linguistics at the

University of Singapore and attended Colombia University and

the University of California in USA on a Fulbright scholarship.

Before she started writing full time in the beginning of the 1990s

Lim worked as a teacher.

Singaporean seminars at

Göteborg Book Fair 2009

Saturday 12.00–12.45

Sunday 12.00–12.45

Dreaming Singapore

Finding a voice

phOTO: private


Thursday 24 th September

photo: ulrike altekruse

photo: Marika Griehsel

Manfred Nowak

10.00–10.45 Code To1000.2

Manfred Nowak, Inge Genefke

Torture convention without teeth?

This year marks 25 years since the adoption of the

UN Convention against torture. And yet, torture,

recognized as a crime against human rights, is still

rarely prosecuted. Even when it is, prosecution

is brought against those carrying out the torture,

rather than against the statesmen or military chiefs

who have ordered it. That was the case in Latin

America and South Africa; and that is the case in

the USA. But now more and more voices are joining

in an appeal calling for those responsible to receive

their lawful punishments. Participants: Manfred

Nowak, professor at the University of Vienna and

the UN Special Rapporteur on Torture, and Inge

Genefke, doctor and founder of IRCT, the International

Rehabilitation Council for Torture Victims

in Copenhagen, who has been nominated for the

Nobel Peace Prize eight times.

Moderator: Marika Griehsel, journalist and presenter

of UR’s forthcoming television series on torture.

Language: English

In coop with Swedish Educational Broadcasting Company (UR)

11.00–11.45 Code To1100.8

Anne Bamford

The Wow Factor

A major irony in education today is that while society

and business increasingly place value on culture,

arts and creativity, time and energy for these subjects

is being reduced in schools and teacher training

programmes. Rather than representing the core

of innovative education for the future, aesthetic and

creative school subjects are increasingly marginalized.

This presentation will consider the impact of

the arts on academic achievement in a system often

dominated by discussions of PISA results. Highlighting

examples from around the world – and

with a special focus on the Nordic countries – this

presentation advocates a central role for creativity

education in building innovative thinking. Professor

Anne Bamford is Director of the Engine Room

at the University of the Arts London and recognized

internationally for the UNESCO report “The Wow

Factor: Global research compendium on the impact

of the arts in education”. She has also conducted

major national impact and evaluation studies for

the governments of Denmark, The Netherlands,

Belgium, Iceland and Australia.

Language: English

photo: private

photo: Richard Foreman

Inge Genefke

Guillermo Arriaga

11.00–11.45 Code To1100.6

Nuria Amat

In search of her language

The Spanish-Catalan author Nuria Amat refers

to her latest novel Intimacy as “auto fiction”. The

dividing line between autobiography and fiction

is blurred in this depiction of a woman growing

up in an upper-class, intellectual home, and

her struggle to find her own voice. This search

for one’s own voice is a central theme in Amat’s

books, such as Queen Cocaine. Nuria Amat made

her debut in 1979 with the poetry collection Pan

de boda [The wedding bread] and her first novel El

ladrón de libros [The Book Thief] was published in

1988. Although Amat is Catalan, she has chosen to

write in Spanish, which is perceived as traitorous

by some in strongly nationalist Catalonia. In 2003

Queen Cocaine was nominated for the Rómulo

Gallego Prize, the most prestigious literary prize in

the Spanish speaking world. Amat talks with her

Swedish translator Marika Gedin.

Language: Spanish

In coop with Bokförlaget Tranan and Themis förlag

In coop with The Swedish Teachers’ Union

12.00–12.45 Code To1200.1

Guillermo Arriaga

Babel and other tales from Mexico

The filmscripts for the critically acclaimed Babel,

21 gram and Amores perros – all also box-office

successes – were all written by the prize-winning

writer Guillermo Arriaga. His novel A Sweet Smell

of Death (Un Dulce Olor a Muerte) – now available

in Swedish translation – takes place in a little hole

of a village in the heart of macho Mexico. A young

girl is found murdered and the forces of revenge are

set in play. In a conversation with the film critic

and journalist Jannike Åhlund, Guillermo Arriaga

talks about his writing. How do screenwriting and

literature affect each other? Are the creative processes

for each different? Which Mexico does he depict

in his writings?

Language: English

In coop with Bokförlaget Tranan, Karavan and Boca förlag

Programme changes and additions are online at

Nuria Amat


Seminars Thursday

12.00–12.20 Code To1200.7

Helena Öberg, Montserrat Arias, Helena Nilsson,

Anne Ljungdahl

The Happy book

– El Libro alegre, about the digital multicultural school

library of the future – already in Västerås

A presentation in Swedish and Spanish of a new

concept of what a school library can be. Widen your

perspective, leave the school world and imagine the

school library as part of the community and not just

for the school! Participants: Helena Öberg, Anne

Ljungdahl, Montserrat Arias and Helena Nilsson.

Language: Swedish and Spanish

In coop with the city of Västerås IDA-project

13.00–13.45 Code To1300.4

Céline Curiol

Love and infatuation

Céline Curiol’s debut novel Voice Over, recently

released in Swedish translation, is a tale about a

young, nameless woman who works at the railway

station Gare du Nord. She is besotted with a man

who loves and lives with another woman. Voice

Over was praised by Paul Auster as one of the most

original and well written books in recent years.

Curiol’s third novel in French, Exile intermédiaire,

will be published in the autumn. It is a dense book

about New York and Paris, love, writing, marital

relationships, absence and illness, wanderings and

hope. Frenchwoman Céline Curiol, born in Lyon in

1975, has lived in New York, London and Buenos

Aires but is now back in Paris. She has also written a

cultural guide to New York and a travel book about

Sierra Leone.

Moderator: Monica Malmström, journalist.

Language: English

In coop with Sekwa förlag and The French Embassy

14.00–14.45 Code To1400.6

Paolo Giordano

Literary wunderkind from Italy

Paolo Giordano took Italy by storm last year with

The Solitude of Prime Numbers. This gripping debut

novel about loneliness, love and painful childhood

experiences shot to the top of the Italian bestseller

lists with over a million copies sold, as well as winning

the country’s most prestigious literary prize,

Premio Strega. The book is currently being translated

into over twenty different languages, including

Swedish. When the Turin-born 27 year old isn’t

writing literature he is concentrating on his doctorate

in particle physics.

Moderator: Jannike Åhlund, journalist.

Language: English

In coop with Bokförlaget Forum

14.00–14.45 Code To1400.7

Inga Abele, Liana Langa, Juris Kronbergs

Latvian women occupy Parnassus

For many years the progress of Latvian women writers

has marched ahead with giant steps, and today

they dominate the prose arena. How has this happened?

What can it mean that the female experience

is taking more space than the male experience?

Such a question seems especially crucial in these

times of crisis. Is there a specifically female aesthetic

and ethic? These and other questions will be

discussed with the Latvian writers Inga Abele and

Liana Langa.

Conversational leader: Juris Kronbergs, writer and


Language: English

In coop with Latvian Literature Centre

14.00–14.45 Code To1400.12

Santos Juliá, José Oneto, Rafael Escuredo, Reyes Mate

Spanish political transition

The transition to democracy in Spain was a thrilling

historical and political period in the 1970s.

Political experts and writers who experienced or

deeply investigated these crucial years, including

Santos Juliá, historian, José Oneto, journalist,

Rafael Escuredo, politician and ex-president of

the Regional Government of Andalusia, and Reyes

Mate, philosopher, gather to express and discuss

their differing points of view on the transition.

Moderator: Johan Järlehed, Ph D in Spanish.

Language: Spanish

In coop with Spanish Ministry of Culture

15.00–15.45 Code To1500.9

Renad Qubbaj, Larry Lempert, Lotta Schüllerqvist

Children’s literature – a tool for democracy

Winner of The Astrid Lindgren Memorial Award 2009

With 20 years of experience in conflict stricken Palestine,

this year’s ALMA prize winner, the Tamer

Institute in Ramallah, talks about their work promoting

literature in Gaza and on the West Bank.

About how librarians, parents and teachers are cooperating

to give young people a better childhood,

and about how they see books, children’s reading

and development of their own creativity as keys to a

better world. Participants: Renad Qubbaj, General

Director, Tamer Institute for Community Education,

Larry Lempert, chair of the jury for the Astrid

Lindgren Memorial Award, and Lotta Schüllerqvist,

Middle East correspondent.

Moderator: Gunilla Kindstrand, journalist.

Language: English

In coop with The Astrid Lindgren Memorial Award (ALMA)

Inga Abele

Paolo Giordano

Céline Curiol

Renad Qubbaj

photo: PETTER karlberg photo: alma

photo: helen enqvist

photo: simone mottura

photo: private

Larry Lempert


Seminars Thursday

15.00–15.45 Code To1500.3

Anders Bodegård, Jáchym Topol, Jeana Jarlsbo,

Stefan Ingvarsson

The future for literature 20 years after the Wall

The Czech Republic, Poland and Romania

It has been a long time since Eastern European dissident

writers were forced to publish their works

through underground presses who distributed

books secretly by hand, or through publishers in

exile, who then smuggled their books back into

their home countries. What effect did it have on literature

when the borders opened between east and

west? How were writers affected when the political

situation changed so radically? Where is literature

headed in the Czech Republic, Poland and Romania?

Translator Anders Bodegård talks with author

Jáchym Topol, literary expert Jeana Jarlsbo and

translator and writer Stefan Ingvarsson.

Language: Czech and Swedish

In coop with Czech Centre, Polish Cultural Institute and Romanian Cultural


15.00–15.45 Code To1500.6

Arnal Ballester

The art of enlightenment

– illustrators from Spain and Sweden

Arnal Ballester, who has received the Spanish National

Illustration Prize, will talk about what illustration

means to him, the position illustrators have

and would like to have in the book world, and about

illustration in Spain, full of attractive and avantgarde

proposals, and well internationally recognized,

as the success of the exhibition Ilustrísimos

at the Bologna Children Book Fair 2005 proves.

He will share his views in a conversation with a renowned

Swedish illustrator.

Language: English

In coop with Spanish Ministry of Culture

16.00–16.45 Code To1600.1

David Toscana, Ignacio Padilla

To hell with the traditions

A new generation of Mexican writers comes of age

David Toscana and Ignacio Padilla are part of a

young and successful generation of Mexican writers

who have disassociated themselves from the tradition

of magical realism in Latin America. With

completely different entry points to literature, they

both question what represents the centre and the

periphery. However, while Padilla’s novels spread

out across the world, Toscana’s novels are all set in

the same neighbourhood of his hometown Monterrey.

Writers from Latin America are often perceived

as representative of their own part of the world.

What do Toscana and Padilla think about this? Is it

really possible to talk about one Latin American literature?

Both are newly available in Swedish translation;

Padilla with Amphitryon and Toscana with

The Last Reader.

Moderator: Ulla Strängberg, cultural journalist at

Swedish Radio.

Language: English

In coop with Bokförlaget Atlas, Boca förlag, Karavan and Bokförlaget Tranan

16.00–16.20 Code To1600.5

Santos Juliá

Memory in the transition,

memories of the transition

“This is an investigation into the memory of the

Civil War and the rule of Franco’s government during

the years of transition towards democracy. My

interpretation is that such a memory – or the discourse

on the past – started to come into being in

the mid-fifties due to the so-called ‘half-century’

generation that rejected the tales handed down of

the war as a crusade of liberation waged against

a foreign invader and created its own view of the

war as useless fratricidal slaughter. The memories

of the transition have been distilled since the midnineties

by a new generation, one I have called the

grandchildren of the war, for whom the transition,

because of the different questions they pose to the

past and the different interests they hold vis-à-vis

the future, is recalled as a time of silence and oblivion,

as if the Spaniards engaged in the transition,

frozen by fear, had somehow suffered collective

amnesia induced from a position of power. My intention

is to stir up a debate on these two memories

or those two views of the past.”

Santos Juliá, Spanish historian.

Language: Spanish

In coop with Spanish Ministry of Culture

16.00–16.20 Code To1600.5

An invisible stone in my heart

HIV and AIDS in Sweden and the world

Worldwide rates of HIV and AIDS are spiralling.

In Sweden, the number of HIV positive people is

on the increase. How can we halt the spread of this

disease? Can a cure be found for AIDS? This year

sees the publication of the book An Invisible Stone

in my Heart – HIV and AIDS in Sweden and the

world, in which Swedish and international experts

write about ways of combatting HIV and AIDS.

HIV positive people from 20 countries tell their

stories, not only of exclusion from society, but also

about the power of resistance and joie de vivre, and a

refusal to give up. Participants include Zohira Merah

from Algeria, an HIV positive Muslim woman

emerging publicly for the first time in the book,

Neo Chitombo, an HIV positive woman from Botswana,

also known as ‘Miss Stigma’ because of her

campaign against the stigma associated with AIDS,

and Elaine Vocelka from the USA, who contracted

HIV from her husband and has written a book

about her life as an HIV positive person. Other

participants: Mona Sahlin, Leader of the Social

Democrat Party, Sweden; Lars Olof Kallings, professor;

Henning Mankell, author; Andreas Lundstedt,

artist; Metta Fjelkner, chairperson, Swedish

National Union of Teachers; Bengt Westerberg,

chairperson, Swedish Red Cross; Elisabet Andersson,

chair, SOS-Barnbyars; and Donald Boström

and Mats Ögren, authors/editors.

Moderator: Annika Hagström, journalist.

Language: English

A concert by Alcazar will directly follow the seminar. Organiser: The Red

Cross, the Swedish National Union of Teachers, SOS-Barnbyar and Leopard förlag

Language: English

Ignacio Padilla

David Toscana

Don Gatuque-Chamario

Arnal Ballester

illustration: private

illustration: arnal ballester

photo: david toscana

photo: private


Friday 25 th September

10.00–10.20 Code Fr1000.2

Jáchym Topol

On European history

In Jáchym Topol’s novel [In a Cold Country], the

Czech author writes about the third generation of

survivors in Theresienstadt and Belarus. The narrative

reminds the reader of an archeological dig

which, layer by layer, unearths Europe’s modern

history. Translator Tora Hedin talks with Jáchym


Language: Czech and Swedish

In coop with Ersatz and Czech Centre

10.00–10.45 Code Fr1000.4

Maribel Fierro, Göran Larsson, Daniel Uddling

The meeting in Andalusia

The image of Andalusia as a place of tolerance,

where three cultures and religions lived peacefully

together, is in part an idealistic view. The ideal

has been used to promote a variety of political and

ideological goals. Did people truly live in peace

here? Can we live together now? Can the religions

meet and if so, is Andalusia a possible model for

us today? Professor Maribel Fierro from Madrid

will guide us through Andalusian history with a

focus on the historical importance of the Muslim

presence in the area. Other participants include:

Göran Larsson, a religious historian at Göteborg

University, and Daniel Uddling, from the Andalusian

Meeting, a project seeking a new platform

for religious dialogue using travel as a method.

Moderator: Marika Palmdahl, priest and project

leader for inter-religious dialogue in the diocese of


Language: English

In coop with Se människan/Svenska kyrkan and Makadam förlag

12.00–12.45 Code Fr1200.12

Laura Gallego

Writing for the youngest readers

Laura Gallego is the most popular children and

young adult author in Spain. Most of her books fall

into the fantasy genre, and she has been compared

with both Tolkien and J K Rowling. Gallego started

to write at the age of eleven and her books have now

been translated into a dozen languages. Alongside

her writing, she has completed a degree in philology

and a doctorate in Spanish medieval literature. Gallego

will talk about literary creation, her love of fantasy

and mythology and her strong connection with

her young readers with Britt Isaksson, translator and

literary critic, who specialises in children’s literature.

Language: Spanish

In coop with Spanish Ministry of Culture

12.00–12.45 Code Fr1200.5

Francisca Pulgar Vernalte

The big leap

In Spain cooperation between libraries has led to

the rapid development of a digital network for public

libraries. Through modern internet technology

the library service has completely transformed itself

in a short time, allowing for hundreds of libraries

to share catalogues and offer common library tickets,

and for interactive communication with local

residents. In the Basque country library tickets are

now used as citizen cards for municipal and regional

services. Participant: Francisca Pulgar Vernalte,

Head of the Basque Government Library Service

and author of the Basque Library Law.

Language: English

In coop with Svensk Biblioteksförening

Laura Gallego

Francisca Pulgar Vernalte

photo: isabel ruiz

photo: private

photo: private

11.00–11.45 Code Fr1100.5

Bernardo Atxaga, Ramón Pernas, Javier Marías,

Rosa Montero

Round table about Spanish narrative

Prose in Spain is passing through an interesting

phase just now. There are good novelists who

write as well in Spanish as in the other three official

languages. In a way, Spain is experiencing an

explosion of literary creativity. In this round-table

discussion we hear the opinions of four successful

and prize-winning Spanish writers; one of whom

writes in Basque, Bernardo Atxaga, and the others

in Spanish, Ramón Pernas, Javier Marías and Rosa


Moderator: Ken Benson, professor in Spanish.

Language: Spanish

In coop with Spanish Ministry of Culture

12.00–12.45 Code Fr1200.9

Neo Chitombo, Henning Mankell, Marco Helles

Bullying that kills

People living with HIV are constantly vulnerable.

Their human rights are violated, they lose their jobs,

are evicted from their homes, rejected by their families

and communities. Many do not even dare take

an AIDS test for fear of the result. If discrimination

against and marginalising of people who are HIV positive

or suffer from AIDS, the epidemic will continue

to claim millions of human lives. The Red Cross has

been working for many years to stop the bullying and

discrimination related to HIV and AIDS. Meet Neo

Chitombo from Botswana in conversation with Henning

Mankell; both are working on the book Som en

osynlig sten i mitt hjärta. Om hiv och aids i Sverige och

världen [Like an invisible stone in my heart. HIV and

AIDS in Sweden and the world]. The seminar is lead

by Marco Helles, coordinator for the Red Cross’s work

for diversity and anti-discrimination in Sweden.

Language: English

Ramón Pernas

photo: Ulla Montan

In coop with The Red Cross

Bernardo Atxaga


Seminars Friday

photo: david port

photo: private

foto: Iván giménez

photo: el país

Jáchym Topol

Ana Luísa Amaral

Horacio Castellanos Moya

13.00–13.20 Code Fr1300.4

Jáchym Topol, Jaroslav Rudiš

In velvet footsteps

– contemporary Czech writers

What does the Czech literary scene look like today,

and what has happened since the Wall fell? A literature

unknown to many Swedes is presented for

the first time in a collection of short stories from 15

contemporary Czech writers. A conversation with

the writers Jáchym Topol and Jaroslav Rudiš.

Language: Czech and Swedish

In coop with Czech Centre, Bokförlaget Tranan and Stockholm University

13.00–13.45 Code Fr1300.6

Horacio Castellanos Moya

Latin American regime critic

Horacio Castellanos Moya is one of the most

important writers in El Salvador. He writes often

about the contradictions and hypocrisy inherent in

Central American society. When his regime-critical

novel El asco [Nausea] was published, Castellanos

Moya was forced to leave El Salvador after

repeated death threats. He had previously lived in

exile because of the civil war in his homeland. Until

recently he lived in Pittsburgh as a Cities of Refuge

writer in residence, working as a visiting professor

at the University of Pittsburgh. This autumn

and winter he will be working at the University of

Tokyo. Castellanos Moya’s books have been translated

into several languages including English,

French, German and Italian. His novel Senselessness

is out now in Swedish translation, and is a dark

satire about the unjust and cruel treatment of the

people by a Central American military regime.

Moderator: Gabriella Håkansson, literary critic.

Language: English

In coop with Leopard förlag

13.00–13.20 Code Fr1300.12

Manuel Vilas


The last two books by Manuel Vilas, Calor and

España, give a glimpse of his reflections on the current

reality of Spain. Calor is a volume of poetry

that opens with the television broadcast of Crown

Prince Philip of Asturias’s wedding and closes with

a poem devoted to speculative town planning. In

his novel, España, Manuel Vilas reflects on the history

of his homeland and the history of the Hispanic

world from a perspective of science fiction,

post-modern imagination and a critical sense of

humour. In both books, he attempts to provide a

literary image of the social, political and cultural

reality of Spain in the 21st century.

Language: Spanish

In coop with Spanish Ministry of Culture

13.30–13.50 Code Fr1330.4

Ana Luísa Amaral, Gonçalo M. Tavares, Ondjaki

Is Portugal still a country of poets?

The dictatorship ended 35 years ago; and eleven

years have passed since José Saramago was awarded

the Nobel Prize. What is happening in the world of

Portuguese literature today? Participants: the poet

Ana Luísa Amaral, the author Gonçalo M. Tavares

and Ondjaki, author from Angola who writes

in Portuguese.

Language: English

In coop with Instituto Camões

14.00–14.45 Code Fr1400.2

Javier Marías

With an eye for love and football

The dark side of love and the strangely elusive nature

of memory are recurring themes in the work

of Javier Marías. Marías was born in 1951 in Madrid

but spent a small part of his childhood in the

USA due to his father’s opposition to Franco. His

debut novel came out when he was just 19, and he

has published over ten since, as well as teaching at

Oxford and working as a translator. The internationally

successful novelist is also well known and

loved in his homeland of Spain as a newspaper columnist

with a keen eye for both Shakespeare and

football. His books Tomorrow in the Battle Think

On Me and All Souls are available in Swedish translation.

In conversation with Ulf Eriksson, author

and literary critic.

Language: English

In coop with Albert Bonniers förlag

14.00–14.45 Code Fr1400.6

Neo Chitombo, Coenraad de Beer

Children, solidarity and strength

On HIV/AIDS-affected communities in southern Africa

What happens to children in impoverished communities

in southern Africa, where HIV/AIDS is rampant,

when their parents die and the children and

the elderly are left to manage on their own? Neo

Chitombo from Botswana, herself HIV positive,

and Coenraad de Beer, director of SOS-Barnbyar’s

work in South Africa to support families, talk about

how the poorest people have taken on the greatest

financial and social responsibility for these children.

A conversation about solidarity in an impoverished

and HIV/AIDS-affected African community. The

seminar is part of the work for the book Som en

osynlig sten i mitt hjärta. Om hiv och aids i Sverige

och världen [Like an invisible stone in my heart.

HIV and AIDS in Sweden and the world].

Language: English

In coop with SOS-barnbyar

Javier Marías


Seminars Friday

photo: anna t. szabó

photo: marijuana gheorghiu

photo: private

photo: marco alar

Lydia Cacho

Federico García Lorca

Carmen Francesca Banciu

14.00–14.45 Code Fr1400.12

Lydia Cacho

I will not be intimidated

Lydia Cacho on her fight

The Mexican journalist and human rights activist

Lydia Cacho became internationally known when

she exposed the sexual exploitation of children by

high level politicians and businessmen. After her

exposé, she was threatened with persecution, torture,

and death. In her autobiography Memorias de

una infamia, now available in Swedish translation,

Lydia Cacho tells of her fight to protect children

and women in a world where corruption and violence

remain a part of everyday life.

Moderator: Björn Linnell, senior advisor Natur &


Language: English

In coop with Natur & Kultur

15.00–15.45 Code Fr1500.7

Leslie Stainton, Anders Cullhed, Ángel Sahuquillo,

Suzanne Osten

Lorca’s visual concept for the theatre

Federico García Lorca (1898–1936) was not only a

singer and a poet, but also a dramatist and director.

His touring theatre company La Barraca was

intended to make live theatre accessible to Spanish

farmworkers. By staging both his own and others’

plays, he was able to further develop both his radical

and novel view of the theatre, and his dramatic

and theatrical voice. Plays such as The Public, When

Five Years Pass and About Love are considered to be

innovative even today, and still inspire admiration

and curiosity about how they can be interpreted.

The American researcher and Lorca biographer

Leslie Stainton talks about Lorca’s thoughts and

visual concepts for theatrical drama with the professor

of literature Anders Cullhed, the author

Ángel Sahuquillo and the theatre director Suzanne


Language: English

In coop with Teater Halland and Bokförlaget Tranan

15.00–15.20 Code Fr1500.9

Bernardo Atxaga

Tradition v modernity

An underlying theme in Bernardo Atxaga’s novel

The Accordionist’s Son is the conflict between new

and old. This is especially relevant in a country like

Spain, which moved from dictatorship to welfare

state in just a few short years. In conversation with

Ulla Roseen, Atxaga’s Swedish translator.

Language: Spanish

15.00–15.45 Code Fr1500.11

György Dragomán, Carmen Francesca Banciu

Father figures in communist Romania

A discussion with György Dragomán, author of the

internationally acclaimed White King, now available

in Swedish translation, and Carmen Francesca Banciu,

best known in her adopted country of Germany

for her autobiographical novel Vaterflucht [Flight

from Father]. Both books recount the horrors of

totalitarian Romania through the eyes of children –

one of them son to a political prisoner and the other

daughter to a party dignitary. Dragomán and Banciu

talk about their nightmare-inducing memories

from another world and what lessons can be passed

on to today’s children, raised in a democratic Romania

without firsthand knowledge of the past.

Moderator: Peter Handberg, writer, translator and

cultural journalist.

Language: English

In coop with Romanian Cultural Institute in Stockholm and Brombergs Bokförlag

15.30–15.50 Code Fr1530.1

Ignacio Martínez de Pisón

Twenty-five years on

“Between the publication of my first book, a short

novel entitled La ternura del dragón, and the recent

appearance of my first anthology of short stories

entitled Aeropuerto de Funchal, twenty-five years

have elapsed, more than sufficient time to take a

glance back and draw up a reckoning of one’s one

path through life and that of one’s generation, the

first generation of writers to start publishing after

the end of Franco’s long dictatorship.”

Ignacio Martínez de Pisón, Spanish author.

Language: Spanish

In coop with Spanish Ministry of Culture

15.30–15.50 Code Fr1530.3

Anjum Hasan, Marie Lundquist, Birgitta Wallin

Indian poetry’s road to Sweden

Finally – an anthology with Indian poetry in Swedish

translation. The poets Anjum Hasan, Marie

Lundquist and the editor Birgitta Wallin talk

about the poems and the workshop in India where

the translations began to take shape.

Language: English

In coop with Indian Library, Karavan and Bokförlaget Tranan

In coop with Albert Bonniers förlag

Programme changes and additions are online at

György Dragomán


Seminars Friday

photo: isabel ruiz

photo: uwe timm

photo: aina lorente

photo: daniel mordzinski

Reyes Mate

Uwe Timm

Agustín Fernández Mallo

Manuel Vilas

16.00–16.45 Code Fr1600.4

Uwe Timm, Norbert Gstrein

Zwischen Fakten und Fiktion

Uwe Timm (Deutschland) und Norbert Gstrein

(Österreich) schreiben Bücher, die historische und

politische Themen behandeln. Gleichzeitig sind

es aber auch Auseinandersetzungen mit der eigenen

Vergangenheit. Wie kann man von Fakten

ausgehend Fiktionen schaffen? Wie nähert man

sich schreibend den Realitäten und Traumata gesellschaftlicher

und individueller Katastrophen? In

„Am Beispiel meines Bruders” schreibt Uwe Timm

über seinen Bruder, der sich 1942 als 18-Jähriger

freiwillig zur SS-Totenkopfdivision meldet. In „Der

Freund und der Fremde” berichtet er über seinen

Freund Benno Ohnesorg, der am 1967 am Rande

der Anti-Schah-Demonstration in Berlin erschossen

wird. Auch Norbert Gstrein begibt sich in

seinen letzten Werken auf die Suche nach dem Vergangenen.

Während sich der Roman „Die englischen

Jahre” mit der gemeinsamen Internierung von Nazis

und ihren Gegnern auf der‚ Isle of Man’ befasst,

steht in „Handwerk des Tötens” der Krieg auf dem

Balkan im Mittelpunkt. Gstreins letztes Buch „Die

Winter im Süden” thematisiert familiäre Verwerfungen,

verursacht durch die Wirren des Zweiten

Weltkrieges. Norbert Gstrein, geb. 1961 in Tirol,

ist seit seinem Debut „Einer” (1988) zu einem der

wichtigsten Autoren Österreichs geworden. Norbert

Gstrein erhielt u.a. den Alfred-Döblin-und den

Uwe-Johnson-Preis. Der vielfach preisgekrönte Autor

Uwe Timm, geb. 1940 in Hamburg, hat über 10

Romane veröffentlicht. 2009 erscheint sein Roman

„Die Entdeckung der Currywurst” in schwedischer


Moderation: Monica Nagler, Literaturkritikerin,

spezialisiert auf deutschsprachige Literatur. Sie war

viele Jahre in der Kulturredaktion des Schwedischen

Radion (SR) tätig und ist ehemalige Präsidentin des

schwedischen PEN Club.

Sprache: Deutsch

In Zusammenarbeit mit dem Goethe-Institut Schweden und dem Zentrum für


16.00–16.45 Code Fr1600.6

Manuel Vilas, Agustín Fernández Mallo

Young Spanish literature: a paradigm shift?

Changes in leisure habits and media use mean

that new authors gain in importance. Some of the

trend-setters able to connect with young readers are

Manuel Vilas and Agustín Fernández Mallo, two

young Spanish poets and novelists who are gaining

prestige in the Spanish literary world. Vilas published

a poetry book, Calor (Hot) last year which

was chosen as the book of the year by the Quimera

magazine. Fernández Mallo, physician and writer,

has created the term “Postpoetic Poetry”, about the

relationships between sciences and arts, and has

achieved success with his novels Nocilla Dream and

Nocilla Experience.

Moderator: Ulf Eriksson, author and literary critic.

Language: Spanish

In coop with Spanish Ministry of Culture

17.00–17.20 Code Fr1700.8

Reyes Mate

Memory and history: two views

“Memory and history are two different views of the

same past but are they contradictory or complementary?

What can be noted is that memory has given

rise to an extensive debate with historians focusing

on two points: on whether memory is sentiment or

knowledge; and on whether memories are a public

or private matter. My thesis is that the memory arising

out of Auschwitz and moulding current memories

(of colonialism, slavery, the conquest, the Civil

War, etc) is also knowledge. The gaze of the victim,

for example, sees something in reality that would be

invisible without him or her. It is also a public or political

matter because memory questions the legitimacy

of a present constructed on victims rendered

invisible. Ultimately, it would attempt to show that

it is possible to construct a theory of history, from

memory, that is more demanding than the classical,

canonical ‘science of history’ ”.

Reyes Mate, Spanish philosopher.

Language: Spanish

In coop with Spanish Ministry of Culture

17.00–17.20 Code Fr1700.5

Lukas Hartmann

Der eingeschränkte Blick oder

Europas Sehnsucht nach Exotik

In seinem neuen Roman Bis ans Ende der Meere

schildert der Schweizer Lukas Hartmann die dritte

grosse Reise von Captain Cook aus der Sicht des

Expeditionsmalers John Webber. Webber hatte die

Aufgabe, diese Reise – vordergründig ein Projekt

der Aufklärung – in allen ihren visuellen Aspekten

zu dokumentieren. Dabei aber musste er sich – nicht

anders als ein „embedded journalist” – einer rigorosen

Zensur beugen und bediente somit mit seinen

Südseebildern die Sehnsucht der Europäer nach

einem irdischen Paradies. In Hartmanns Roman

geht es nicht nur um das Abenteuer dieser Fahrt,

sondern um Kunst, Macht und Wahrheit.

Lukas Hartmann, geboren 1944 in Bern, hat in

den letzten Jahren mehrere historische Romane

geschrieben, die immer wieder um das Thema der

Wahrheitsfindung kreisen. Daneben schreibt er

auch regelmässig für Kinder.

Moderation: Björn Sandmark, Schriftsteller, Kritiker

und Chef der Kulturverwaltung in Göteborg.

Sprache: Deutsch

Zusammenarbeit mit der Schweizerischen Botschaft

Breaking News

Rosa Montero at Göteborg Book Fair

Just before sending the seminar programme to

print, Göteborg Book Fair received the wonderful

news that award-winning Spanish author and

journalist Rosa Montero will attend the Book Fair.

Montero’s early novels, which portray modern

Spain after the downfall of the Franco regime, became

a model for a new and more open society.

In addition, her journalism has been lauded with

some of the most prestigious prizes in Spain.


Saturday 26 th September

10.30–10.50 Code Lö1030.4

Javier Marías

Spanish anglophile

Ever since his debut, Javier Marías has published a

dozen novels of which two, Tomorrow in the Battle

Think On Me and All Souls, are translated into

Swedish. Marías has also translated a great many

English writers, from Sterne to Conrad, into Spanish.

Here he will discuss his books in Swedish with

a Swedish colleague.

Language: English

In coop with Albert Bonniers förlag

11.00–11.45 Code Lö1100.1

Robert Goddard

Suspense and drama

These books have more twists than a box of macaroni,

all rendered in Goddard’s clear-eyed prose ...

Who else have I missed that’s this good?” wrote

Stephen King in Entertainment Weekly when he

nominated Robert Goddard as writer of one of the

ten best books of the year 2008. Goddard writes

historical crime novels in which an everyday person

is drawn into a major intrigue and helps unravel a

conspiracy with many hidden secrets. Two of his

previous novels have been nominated as the best

crime novel in translation, by the Swedish Crime

Writers’ Academy. His latest book, Long Time Coming

is to be published in Swedish translation this

year and published in English in 2010.

Moderator: Maria Neij, crime writing critic.

Language: English

In coop with Ekholm & Tegebjer Förlag

11.00–11.45 Code Lö1100.2

Bernardo Atxaga

The Basque Country, Spain and the world

In Bernardo Atxaga’s epic novel The Accordionist’s

Son, out now in Swedish translation, a man returns

to his Basque hometown after many years overseas.

He decides to write about his younger years and how

the Spanish civil war left deep marks and unhealed

sores on the villagers. The civil war and the resistance

movement are themes which Bernardo Atxaga,

the best known Basque writer, often returns to in

his books. He made his breakthrough in 1988 with

Obabakoak and has now been translated into 25

languages. Atxaga has been compared with William

Faulkner in his ability to create his own literary universe.

Here he talks with the literary critic Ingrid

Elam about his writing and his latest book.

Language: Spanish

12.00–12.45 Code Lö1200.1

Simon Beckett

The corpse expert

Several years ago Simon Beckett visited a truly

unappealing place: a body farm in the US. There

forensic researchers and anthropologists can study

how the human body decomposes in different circumstances.

The visit inspired Beckett to write

crime novels about forensic anthropologist David

Hunter, expert at identifying decomposed, burnt

and skeletonized corpses. Simon Beckett, who is

both author and journalist, has been praised for his

thorough research for the books, and his colourful

descriptions of their settings. The third book in the

Hunter series, Whispers of the Dead, is to be published

in Swedish this autumn. Simon Beckett was

born in Sheffield in 1968, and freelances for several

of the largest newspapers in the UK, including The

Times, The Daily Telegraph and The Observer.

Moderator: Marika Hemmel, journalist.

Language: English

In coop with Bokförlaget Forum / Minotaur

12.00–12.45 Code Lö1200.10

Edwin Thumboo, Catherine Lim, Wena Poon

Dreaming Singapore

– literature from the Little red dot

What do you know about Singapore and Singaporeans?

What are their thoughts, experiences and

aspirations? Find out more in Dreaming Singapore,

a special spotlight on Singaporean literature with

Edwin Thumboo, Catherine Lim and Wena Poon.

Thumboo is a giant among Singapore’s pioneer

literary figures and its most prominent poet. He

has been involved in Singapore’s literary development

since 1951. Lim is Singapore’s most widely

known novelist. Her novel The Bondmaid has been

translated into eight languages. Poon is one of the

youngest and most exciting new voices from Singapore.

Her debut collection of short stories, Lions

in Winter, was long-listed for the Frank O’Connor

International Short Story Award. Join the Singaporean

writers in an exciting panel session as they discuss

their works which cover nationalism, gender,

identity, conflict and culture.

Language: English

In coop with National Arts Council Singapore

Simon Beckett

Robert Goddard

Edwin Thumboo

photo: private

Photo: Wee Khim

Photo: Jerry Bauer

Photo: Jerry Bauer

In coop with Albert Bonniers förlag

Wena Poon


Seminars Saturday

photo: Lori Barra

photo: johnny ring

photo: Hélène Bamberger

photo: paco sánchez

Fernando Iwasaki

Atiq Rahimi

Simon Kernick

12.00–12.45 Code Lö1200.8

Ignacio Martínez de Pisón, Rafael Chirbes

Remembering Spain’s past

Many writers have written successful novels about the

Civil War and the Franco period, demonstrating that

historical and political issues can make for great literature.

Ignacio Martínez de Pisón is the author of

Dientes de leche, the history of a Spanish family from

the Civil War to the eighties; and Rafael Chirbes has

written several novels about the generation that was

born in the early Franco period, and fought against

the dictatorship.

Moderator: Ken Benson, professor in Spanish.

Language: Spanish

In coop with Spanish Ministry of Culture

13.00–13.45 Code Lö1300.1

Atiq Rahimi

Freedom and oppression

Afghan Atiq Rahimi’s first book in French was awarded

the most prestigious literary prize in France, the

Prix Goncourt, in 2008. Stone of Patience is now available

in Swedish translation. The book, which takes

place in a country like Afghanistan, is about a woman

whose husband is in bed, crippled by a war injury. At

his sickbed, she can finally express her pain and doubt,

and free herself from the oppression of marriage and

religion. Atiq Rahimi was born in Kabul in 1962 and

attended a French school there. When the Soviet Union

invaded Afghanistan he fled to Pakistan and was

eventually granted political asylum in France. Rahimi

made his debut with Earth and Ashes in 2000, and later

directed a film based on the novel. Today he lives in

Paris but spends a lot of time in Kabul and is a creative

advisor to the country’s largest media concern.

Conversational partner: Gunilla Kindstrand, cultural


Language: English

In coop with Leopard förlag

13.00–13.45 Code Lö1300.6

Isabel Allende

The sorrow of a large family

Taking the form of a letter to her dead daughter Paula,

Isabel Allende’s latest book The Sum of Our Days continues

the story which began in her book Paula. Daily

and dramatic happenings in her international extended

family are described unsentimentally, candidly and

with humour. At the same time, the book is interwoven

with grief for Paula and Allende’s search for spiritual

meaning. The tribe of eccentric personalities in

the book could be as easily found in a TV-series or an

19th century historical novel. Isabel Allende, one of

the most read and loved authors worldwide, was born

in 1942. After the military coup in Chile in 1973 she

went into voluntary exile and now lives in California.

Her debut novel House of Spirits, published in

1982, became a global success, and since then she has

published eighteen adult novels and three novels for

children and young adults. Isabel Allende speaks with

Daniel Sjölin, cultural journalist.

Language: English

In coop with Norstedts

13.00–13.20 Code Lö1300.9

Fernando Iwasaki

How to be humorous with homotextuality

“A boxing metaphor applied to literature says that, in

novels, you have to win on points whereas in short

stories, you need a knock-out, but I prefer food-based,

rather than pugilistic, similes: in other words, a novel

can end up half-baked but a short story has to be done

to a crisp. Novels are always rich in fat but short stories

have just the right calories. Once started, novels

keep very well in the fridge but short stories have to

be consumed immediately. Novels have preservatives

while short stories are pure fibre. Novels can always

get away with being warmed over, whereas short stories

(like films) ‘can only be served up once’. A novel

is a hot stew of almost intestinal simmering and a

short story is a cold meal of home-assembly vegetables.

Novels sate hunger but short stories whet the appetite.

My first textual experience was with a short

story and since then I have been in favour of free text,

textual relations without commitment, text for text’s

sake and homotextual, bitextual or heterotextual literature.

Perhaps that’s why all my books are the same:

a homotextual book.”

Fernando Iwasaki, Spanish author.

Language: Spanish

In coop with Spanish Ministry of Culture

14.00–14.45 Code Lö1400.7

Jan Eliasson, Fantu Cheru, Kenneth Hermele

Brussels, Obama and Africa

What might the new American administration and

the change in transatlantic relations mean for Africa?

What questions affecting Africa can and should Sweden

move up the agenda when Sweden holds the EU

chair in autumn 2009? Jan Eliasson, ambassador and

former minister for foreign affairs, Fantu Cheru, research

director at the Nordic Africa Institute, and the

economist Kenneth Hermele from Forum Syd discuss

such issues as development, migration, climate change,

terror, global trade, the financial crisis and cooperation

between the EU and the US concerning Africa.

Language: English

In coop with The Nordic Africa Institute

14.00–14.45 Code Lö1400.8

Simon Kernick

Moonlighting with blood

Forget kindly inspectors who solve murder mysteries

over a cup of tea in the vicarage. In Englishman

Simon Kernick’s crime novels, The Business of Dying

and A Good Day to Die, we meet Dennis Milne,

a morally complex police officer who works as a

contract killer on the side, in a shabby, violent and

altogether unpleasant London. Kernick has been

acclaimed for his realistic descriptions of British

policework, and his work is often compared with

Dennis Lehane’s early work. Kernick was born in

1966 in Slough. His book The Murder Exchange is

now available in Swedish translation. He talks with

Jesper Bengtsson, journalist and author, about his

books and the British crime writing scene.

Language: English

Isabel Allende

In coop with Bra Böcker


Seminars Saturday

15.00–15.45 Code Lö1500.4

Nick Perumov

Fantasy novels for grown-ups

The blackness and the political undertones in Russian

Nick Perumov’s books are not usually seen in

the genre of fantasy. There is no clear dividing line

between good and evil. Perumov was one of the first

to translate Tolkien’s Lord of the Rings trilogy into

Russian. Not satisfied with that, he continued the

story with The Ring of Darkness, which has reached

cult status in his native country. His books have

sold more than 6 million copies in Russia alone, and

his acclaimed fantasy series The Keeper of Swords is

now available in Swedish translation. Perumov, 45,

was born in Leningrad, but moved to the USA ten

years ago, and works as a microbiologist as well as

a writer.

Moderator: Lotta Olsson, cultural journalist.

Language: English

In coop with Ersatz

15.00–15.45 Code Lö1500.7

Andrés Neuman, Fernando Iwasaki

Spanish and Latin American literature

– are we talking about the same thing?

A round-table discussion with two brilliant Spanish-Latin

American authors who live in Spain and

refer to both cultural traditions. Andrés Neuman,

poet and novelist, was born in Argentina, while

Fernando Iwasaki, novelist, chronicler and shortstory

writer, was born in Peru. They talk about the

similarities and differences between the literature

written in Spanish in each country as well as about

distribution channels in Spain and Latin-America.

Moderator: Ulf Eriksson, author and literary critic.

Language: Spanish

In coop with Spanish Ministry of Culture

16.00–16.45 Code Lö1600.1

Etgar Keret

Cool and clever from Israel

With his short and deftly told stories about youth

in Israel, Etgar Keret, born in 1967, has taken

the literary world by storm. His books have been

translated to more than 25 languages and many of

his decidedly offbeat tales from the shady side of

Israel have been made into films. Although Keret

has never intended to write political books, his

short stories have often caused an outcry in Israel

and turned him into a controversial writer. After a

critically acclaimed debut in Swedish translation in

autumn 2008, he is now back with the short story

collection The Bus Driver Who Wanted To Be God

and other stories – cool and clever about sex, love

and friendship, money, God and all of the major

eternal questions.

Moderator: Kristofer Lundström, cultural journalist.

Language: English

In coop with Bastion förlag

photo: Baruch Rapiach

photo: Private

photo: manuel Ferro

photo: ersatz

Nick Perumov

Miguel Casado

Andrés Neuman

16.00–16.45 Code Lö1600.4

Mark Mattson, Isabelle Peretz, Michael Nilsson

Smart people live longer

There is a correlation between smartness and length

of life. New knowledge shows that smartness is inherited

and that a stimulating environment also

passes on to coming generations. Diet, physical activity

and an enriched environment have an influence

on human smartness. Length of life depends

on where a person lives, educational level and cultural

activities. If I want to live a good and longer

life – what is my responsibility? My parents? The

school? The society? A scientific debate between

Mark Mattson, professor and chief for Laboratory

of Neurosciences and for Cellular and Molecular

Neurosciences Section, NIH, USA, Isabelle Peretz,

professor at the Department of Psychology and Codirector

of BRAMS, University of Montreal and

Michael Nilsson, professor in rehabilitation medicine,

Sahlgrenska University Hospital.

Conversational leader: Gunnar Bjursell, professor

in molecular biology, Göteborg University.

Language: English

In coop with Center for Culture and Health/University of Gothenburg, Culture

and Brain health/Sahlgrenska University Hospital, Peter Erikssons minnesfond

för hjärnforskning, The Brain and Learning Initiative/GU and Folkuniversitetet in


16.00–16.20 Code Lö1600.11

Miguel Casado

Desire for reality

“Today’s world is saturated in discourse, and today’s

virtual reality sees no precise limits. Our days may

take place in physical reality, but we feel the lack of

it in today’s world. Our desire for this physical reality

makes us see that kind of life as a utopian state.

We want to stress that life, so as to keep it alive.

How can we formulate our poetry to encapsulate

this impulse? How can this desire remain fluid, and

not be crystallized in the language of a poem? How

can language, in a poem, go against its own nature

as a code and make that desire tangible?”

Miguel Casado, Spanish poet.

Language: Spanish

In coop with Spanish Ministry of Culture

Sunday 27 th September

12.00–12.45 Code Sö1200.6

Isa Kamari, Yong Shu Hoong, Wena Poon

Finding a voice

– contemporary literature in Singapore

Singapore is a young nation, which gained independence

first in 1965. The seminar explores the

contemporary literature of Isa Kamari, a Malay/

Muslim author; Yong Shu Hoong, one of Singapore’s

most talented and original poets; and Wena

Poon, a Singaporean now living in the US. Find out

more about Singapore’s alternative voices, about

uncovering one’s unique identity, cultures and predicaments.

Language: English

Etgar Keret

In coop with National Arts Council Singapore


The Göteborg Opera was inaugurated in October 1994 and is situated in the harbour.

Göteborg – a vibrant

city by the sea

As the second biggest city located on the west coast of Sweden, Göteborg has a special

character. Nature and places of interest are never far away. Despite its cosmopolitan stamp

though, it still has a typical small-town charm. Göteborg Book Fair takes place in the

heart of the city centre.

The Swedish Exhibition & Congress

Centre is located in the middle

of a line of venues, museums

and other attractions that cuts

through town, from Ullevi Stadium,

a 43 000 seat arena hosting

concerts and sports events, to the

five-year-old Museum of World


A short stroll away you’ll find

Göteborg’s main street, popularly

known as The Avenue, surrounded

by museums, theatres, a concert

hall, shops, restaurants and nightclubs.

Göteborg is the largest university

city in Scandinavia with 60 000

students, and as a result, the local

music scene is considered to be one

of the most progressive and dynamic

in Europe.

Outside influences are nothing

new for this port city, where the

shipping in dustry remained the

largest employer until the 1970s.

Close ties with Britain gave rise

to the sobriquet ‘Little London’,

as well as the city’s English

name of Gothenburg. The maritime

character of the city still

remains today, with daily ferries to

Denmark and Germany, although

many of the docks and shipyards

are being converted to seaside residential


This proximity to the sea is also reflected

in the number of top quality

seafood restaurants. No fewer

than five restaurants have been

awarded stars in Guide Michelin.

Göteborg harbour.


Useful information

v Information

Information desks

There are manned information

desks throughout the

exhibition centre.


Information about the Göteborg

Book Fair, programme

changes and additions see:

Opening hours and Tickets

Opening hours

Open for trade visitors

Thursday 9 am –6 pm


9 am –2 pm

Open for all




How to find us

2 pm –7 pm

9 am –6 pm

9 am –5 pm

Visiting address

Swedish Exhibition & Congress

Centre, Mässans gata 20 / Korsvägen,

Göteborg, Sweden

Seminar halls

An up-to-date list showing where

each seminar is held will be available

at the information desks at

the Book Fair. The list will also

be avail able at our website

from mid-September.

How to find us

Göteborg Book Fair takes place at

the Swedish Exhibition & Congress

Centre in Göteborg. Here is

how to find the Swedish Exhibition

& Congress Centre.

By car: Exit the E6 / E20 motorway

at the “Mässan Scandinavium

Liseberg” exit.


Thursday to Friday 2 pm:

sek 200

(approx EUR 18) per day

Friday 2 pm to Sunday:

sek 120

(approx EUR 11) per day

Seminar cards

For details on all seminar card

prices, please see our website

To pre-book tickets, contact:

By train: From Central Station

in Göteborg, take tram 2 or tram

4 from Drottningtorget to Korsvägen.

By air: From Landvetter airport

you can take airport buses which

stop at Korsvägen outside the

Swedish Exhibition & Congress


By tram: Trams 2, 4, 5, 6, 8 and

13 all stop at Korsvägen. For more

information on timetables, prices

and tickets, please see

Timetables for buses

and trams

In Entry 5, the main entrance,

there is a monitor displaying upto-date

bus and tram arrival and

departure times from Korsvägen.

Timetables are also available online


Press centre

The press centre is located on

the first floor and is equipped

with computers, printers, copy

machines, TVs, videos and

tele phones.

Good to know

Cafés, restaurants and bars

There are more than twenty cafés,

restaurants and bars within the

Swedish Exhibition & Congress

Centre. Collect a map at one of the

information desks.

Hotel rooms

May be booked through

Svenska Mässan Hotel Service,

SE-412 94 Göteborg

Tel: +46 31 708 86 90

Fax: + 46 31 708 87 59


Cash dispenser / ATM

A cash dispenser / ATM is located

next to the main entrance, Entry

5. Open 24 hours. There will also

be cash dispenser / ATM buses

within the Exhibition & Congress

Centre in Hall D.

A cash dispenser / ATM is also

located within Pressbyrån newsagents

on Korsvägen.


There is a taxi rank outside Hotel

Gothia Towers’ entrance.


The Swedish Exhibition &

Congress Centre’s goal is that

all activities within the exhibition

area should be accessible

to our visitors regardless of their

individual abilities. Basic access

is available to all our exhibition

halls, conference premises and

restaurants. The Swedish Exhibition

& Congress Centre,

Göteborg Convention Centre

and Hotel Gothia Towers are

certified in accordance with

quality’s accessibility criteria.

There is free admission for companions

of visitors with disabilities

who require the assistance

of a companion. Guide dogs for

people with impaired vision are

permitted in all the premises.


This year Göteborg Book Fair celebrates

its 25th anniversary! Over the years

the Fair has attracted many prominent

guests. Here are some of their impressions.

“It has become a habit to come here.

I have made it a point that my books

are published in Swedish around the

Göteborg Book Fair.”

Orhan Pamuk, Turkey, 2006

The Fair was vibrant with interest

in books. It was exhausting but very

rewarding to be part of it and to

meet the well-informed audience.”

Jenny Diski, UK, 2005

photo: adam lundquist

photo: adam lundquist

“A thrilling fair, a thrilling city.”

Mickey Spillane, USA, 1991

“I find the Book Fair very stimulating and I think the

Swedes at heart are mad. That’s excellent!”

Derek Walcott, St Lucia, 1993

In the picture together with his friend Joseph Brodsky.

“This is fantastic! I want to come back!”

Norman Mailer, USA, 1994

photo: private

photo: private photo: private

photo: mats peterson

photo: private

“Fantastic, I was really having a good

time. It was great to see so many

readers, especially young readers. In

America we don’t have that many

book fairs for readers. Most of them

are for industry people.”

Meg Cabot, USA, 2008

“Fantastic! The Göteborg Book Fair

is designed for the people, concentrating

on the public’s needs, friendly

and personal.”

Desmond Tutu, South Africa, 2007

photo: adam lundquist

photo: mikael ringlander

photo: tommy arvidson

“This is lovely!”

Seamus Heany, Ireland, 1995


“To get an invitation to the Göteborg

Book Fair almost felt, I believe,

like getting the Nobel Prize!”

Fay Weldon, UK, 1988

“Very stimulating and exhausting.

It’s very important that we have such

a book fair in Scandinavia. And it

grows more and more to a global

event focusing on various parts of

the world. Here it was Latvia and it’s

going to be Spain next year.”

Suzanne Brøgger, Denmark, 2008

Some Prominent Guests at the Göteborg Book Fair over the years

· Alaa al-Aswany · Isabel Allende · Ambai · Samir Amin · Pramoedya Ananta Toer · U.R.

· Kate Atkinson · David Attenborough · Margaret Atwood · Bernardo Atxaga · Jean M Auel ·

eevor · Ari Behn · Gioconda Belli · Alberts Bels · Vizma Belševica · Tahar Ben Jelloun · Alan

aeve Binchy · Lygia Bojunga · Dermot Bolger · Willy Brandt · Claire Bretécher · André Brink

· Ian Buruma · Meg Cabot · Ernesto Cardenal · Marie Cardinal · Arvid Carlsson · Mircea

· Paulo Coelho · Jackie Collins · Maryse Condé · Jilly Cooper · Mia Couto · José Craveirinha

ahmoud Darwish · Robertson Davies · Régine Deforges · Mahasweta Devi · Waris Dirie · Jenny

· Margaret Drabble · Slavenka Drakulić · Vladimir Dudintsev · Friedrich Dürrenmatt · Shirin

Buchi Emecheta · Michael Ende · Elke Erb · Paul Erdman · Péter Estherházy · Lygia Fagundes

chinger · Sebastian Faulks · Norman G. Finckelstein · Vigdis Finnbogadóttir · Dario Fo · Ken

aith · Janise Galloway · Sigitas Geda · Elisabeth George · Doris Gercke · João Gilberto Noll ·

r · Bud Grace · Günter Grass · Germaine Greer · Durs Grünbein · Marion Gräfin Dönhoff ·

ariharan · Joanne Harris · Tony Harrison · Seamus Heaney · Monika Helfer · Stefan Heym ·

Michael Holroyd · Nick Hornby · Nora Ikstena · Moses Isegawa · Christian Jacq · P D James

ng · Lídia Jorge · Sandra Kalniete · Jaan Kaplinski · Ryszard Kapuściński · Jackie Kay · Yasar

aica Kincaid · Sarah Kirsch · Jan Kjærstad · Ivan Klima · Phillip Knightley · György Konrád ·

· Judith Kuckart · Hari Kunzru · Hanif Kureishi · Shahla Lahiji · Cynthia Lennon · Donna

Antunes · Erlend Loe · Hugo Loetscher · Alan Lomax · Karel G van Loon · Peter Lovesey ·

Alberto Manguel · Jack Mapanje · J Nozipo Maraire · Monica Maron · John Marsden · Trude

Colleen McCullough · Val McDermid · Jay McInerney · Robert Menasse · Fatima Mernissi ·

iranda · Shazia Mirza · David Mitchell · Anna Mitgutsch · Bart Moeyaert · Quim Monzó ·

ller · Peter Nádas · Anita Nair · Taslima Nasrin · Aziz Nesin · Cees Nooteboom · Lawrence

onnell · Kenzaburo Oe · Nuala O’Faolain · Ben Okri · Michel Onfray · Michael Ondaatje ·

Patterson · Gudrun Pausewang · Iain Pears · Pepetela · Javier Pérez de Cuéllar · Rosamunde

mitri Prigov · Lily Prior · Philip Pullman · Yann Quefflélec · Bali Rai · Jânis Ramba · Anne

t · Robin Robertson · Peter Robinson · Salman Rushdie · Lars Saabye Christensen · Albie Sachs

Evelyn Schlag · Eric Schlosser · Peter Schneider · Patricia Schonstein Pinnock · Ingo Schulze ·

Queen of Sweden · Isaac Bashevis Singer · Peter Singer · Francisco Sionil José · Knuts Skujenieks

y Spillane · Donald Spoto · Adam Thirlwell · Colm Tóibín · Ilija Trojanow · Joanna Trollope

e Vidal · Cynthia Voigt · Derek Walcott · Mort Walker · Günter Wallraff · Minette Walters ·

r · Elie Wiesel · Simon Wiesenthal · Jeanette Winterson · Jan Wolkers · Stuart Woods · Bob

Zagajewski · Helen Zahavi · Stephan Zavrel · Juli Zeh · He Zhihong · Cecily von Ziegesar ·


Göteborg Book Fair

SE-412 94 Göteborg



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