European Literature Night (ELN) comes to Bohemian National Hall in New York City on June 2 from 7-10pm, with actors performing a curated selection of passages from fifteen exceptional literary works of fiction and poetry from across the European continent. The selected books will be available in a book fair along with other international titles.
New York audiences will move from room to room to hear literary work from prominent and up-and-coming European authors whose work allows for the exploration of parallels between European experiences and the current cultural and political climate in America. The event is modelled after its overseas counterpart, offering a European style atmosphere where audiences can listen to readings and exchange ideas while enjoying a beer or a glass of wine.
The evening will feature an in-person conversation with writer Marieke Nijkamp, a Dutch fiction writer whose first novel This is Where it Ends was a New York Times Young Adult Bestseller, followed by a Q&A and reception.
This special evening is free and open to the public, hosted by the Czech Center New York and the Consulate General of the Czech Republic in New York with the collaboration of fifteen partnering cultural institutions and consulates.
ELN is a decade-old tradition in many European countries. The inaugural New York edition is also the first in the U.S. and will be launched on the occasion of the 60th anniversary celebration of the Treaties of Rome – treaties that brought reconciliation, growth and security to millions of Europeans after WWII. The concept of the ELN is based in this spirit of unity, and on the belief that literature is a unique and creative medium that can help strengthen the dialogue between single voices and cultures, and that it is a tool of mutual understanding which helps to break down communication barriers.
The first ELN was created by the Czech Center Prague and featured readings in pubs and coffee shops throughout the city, creating the experience of a “pub crawl” enhanced by literary readings. The addition of literature and the presentation of new and evocative ideas in these traditionally communal spaces where people discuss ideas gave visitors the space and material to enjoy and then reflect upon what they had heard. The Czech Center New York hopes to provide a similar experience to those visiting the ELN in Bohemian National Hall.
The selected books come from countries representing a diverse and varied Europe: Belgium, Bulgaria, Czech Republic, Estonia, France, Greece, Hungary, Latvia, Malta, Netherlands, Poland, Portugal, Slovakia and Spain.
PROGRAM AND SCHEDULE FOR JUNE 2, 2017
7:00–9:00pm Simultaneous readings in seven venues throughout Bohemian National Hall
7:00-9:00pm Book Fair in the Ballroom
9:00pm – In Conversation with Writer Marieke Nijkamp
Marieke Nijkamp discusses her New York Times Young Adult Bestseller book This is Where it Ends.