Contemporary writer in Europe

22 May 2024, 6:30 PM

Let’s get straight to it, before we divert you

How much is the ticket? Single admission 180 CZK

What about DOX Club members? Free (advance booking required via the form below)

The debate will be held in English and simultaneous interpretation into Czech will be provided.

Gulliver Airship
Poupětova 1, Praha 7
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How do contemporary authors perceive their position in a Europe that is being transformed under the increasing influence of populists and threatened by the Russian imperial war in Ukraine? If culture is society’s principal means of self-reflexion, should writers and artists be supported by the state? Should Europe nurture writing in minor and minoritised languages in particular? What to write about, and how, when facing the diminishing ability of readers to focus on extended texts, as well as decreasing book sales?

Sharing their experience and reading from their works will be Jan Carson, a writer and arts facilitator from Northern Ireland, a province negotiating the legacy of long-term clashes of nationalisms; Irish-language novelist and publisher Tadhg Mac Dhonnagáin; Pavla Horáková, Czech author and radio broadcaster whose latest novel is Srdce Evropy (Heart of Europe); and bilingual author and script writer Jan Novák, who frequently engages in his work with the legacy of the Václav Havel, Milan Kundera and Miloš Forman generation.

Hosted by Ondřej Pilný.

Jan Carson is a writer and community arts facilitator based in Belfast. She has published three novels, three short story collections and two micro-fiction collections. Her novel The Fire Starters won the EU Prize for Literature in 2019. Jan’s latest novel, The Raptures, was published by Doubleday in early 2022 and was subsequently shortlisted for the An Post Irish Novel of the Year and Kerry Group Novel of the Year. Her short story collection Quickly, While We Still Have Horses was published by Doubleday in April 2024.

Pavla Horáková is a writer, literary translator, journalist and broadcaster. Her first work of fiction was a trilogy of crime novels for children. She is the author of two books of non-fiction about World War I (2015, 2018, with Jiří Kamen). In 2018, she published the novella Johana (with Zuzana Dostálová and Alena Scheinostová) and her first novel, Teorie podivnosti, so far translated into nine languages, won the Czech Magnesia Litera Award for best work of fiction in 2019. Her second novel, Srdce Evropy, was published in 2021 and was voted third best book of the year in the Lidové noviny newspaper poll.

Tadhg Mac Dhonnagáin is the author of both fiction and non-fiction, a script writer, musician and publisher. His novel Madame Lazare was the recipient of the 2021 Irish Book Award and was awarded a special mention at the EU Prize for Literature a year later. He is the recipient of multiple other prizes, including Gradam Uí Shúilleabháin, Gradam Réics Carló, Children’s Books Ireland Special Award and a White Raven Award from the Internationale Jugendbibliothek, Germany.

Jan Novák is a novelist, author of non-fiction, script writer, playwright and documentary film maker. Born in Czechoslovakia, he spent the years 1970–2008 in Chicago, publishing his first novel, The Willys Dream Kit, in English. The novel received a Pulitzer Prize nomination and won the Carl Sandburg Literary Award for the Chicago book of the year (1985). His novel about the Mašín brothers, Zatím dobrý, won the Czech Magnesia Litera Award for 2004. His numerous works of non-fiction include the co-authored autobiography of film director Miloš Forman, Co já vím (1994), which was translated into 21 languages, and a detailed biography of Milan Kundera (2020). He is the author of multiple celebrated film scripts and collaborator of directors Ivan Passer, Maximillian Schell, Juraj Jakubisko, David Ondříček and others. Together with his son Adam, he made the documentaries Občan Václav Havel jede na dovolenou, Občan Havel přikuluje and Pušky, puky, pivo a psi and has translated a number of Václav Havel’s plays into English.

The event is organized by the Centre for Irish Studies at Charles University, the Embassy of Ireland and the DOX Centre for Contemporary Art