The First Novel

19.05.2016 |

The Literaturhaus in Kiel, Germany is proud to host the 14th annual European Festival of the First Novel from May 19th till May 22nd. The festival is opened with the public reading “Lesefest” taking place tonight from 7 pm to 11 pm.

At this event, all eleven authors from eleven different European countries will present excerpts from their works in their first language before the professional readers Eva Krautwig and Nils Aulike present the same excerpts in German sample translations.

Visitors will then have the chance to gain some deeper insight about novels presented to them through conversations with their creators in a very relaxed environment. We would like to introduce you to two of the authors, Shida Bazyar from Germany and Morten Pape from Denmark:

„Die Revolution ist einen Monat alt, und Dajeh macht gefüllte Weinblätter. Sie sitzen alle auf dem Boden, meine Mutter, meine Schwestern, meine Cousinen, meine Tanten. Die Ehefrauen meiner älteren Brüder. Sie haben die Sofrehs auf den Wohnzimmerboden gelegt und mit Schüsseln voll Reis, mit Hackfleisch, mit Kräutern, mit Linsen, bedeckt, haben sich darumgesetzt und falten Weinblätter, ein ums andere, legen sie in einen Topf und reden und lachen und reden und lachen.“

Shida Bazyar, Nacht ist es leise in Teheran, Kiepenheuer & Witsch, 2016, pg. 12-13, reading sample

Shida Bazyar was born in Hermeskeil in 1988 and studied Creative Writing in Hildesheim before moving to Berlin to lead a double life: half of her time is spent working as an education officer with young people who are doing their voluntary ecological year in Brandenburg, and her remaining time is spent as a writer. As well as having several short stories published in magazines and anthologies, she was awarded a scholarship for the Klagenfurt Literature Course in 2012 and was also granted a scholarship by the Heinrich Böll Foundation.


”Som regel sidder far for sig selv i den lange lædersofa mens mor strikker i den lidt kortere model ved sidenaf.Han ryger den ene smøg efter den anden, når han ikke ruller sig et lager til næste dag med den røde rullemaskine der kan trylle tobak og papir til en spritny stampeklar cigaret. Indimellem svigter hans ellerserfarne rygermotorik, og de ustyrlige stykker aske fra den efterhånden forsvundne smøg bliver skubbet ned

fra T-shirten (…).”

Morten Pape, Planen, Politikens Forlag 2015, reading sample

Morten Pape (born 1986) grew up in the Urbanplan development in Copenhagen. He is currently studying scriptwriting at the alternative Danish film school Super16. The Plan is his debut novel. Morten Pape was awarded BogForums’s Price for First Time Author 2015.

After the opening event on Thursday, the authors that have travelled to Kiel together with their editors, will spend the weekend in order to discuss news in the European literary scene. A specific session will be held on the issue of The Social Commitment of the Writer, another in is specifically designed to discuss the business of literature and first novels.

The event is supported by:

  • the Ministries of Justice, Culture and Europe in Schleswig-Holstein
  • the Bureau de Livre of the French Embassy in Berlin
  • and the Investmentbank Schleswig-Holstein
  • as well as various other institutions.

Tickets for the public reading cost 8,-€

If you want to find out more about the event click here, to access the Literaturhaus website!

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