This year’s edition of the Prague Writers’ Festival this year takes place October 16–20, with over a dozen participating authors.
Big names coming to the festival include Australian feminist Germaine Greer, Pulitzer Prize winners Michael Cunningham and Junot Díaz, prolific French philosopher François Jullien. Canadian novelist and essayist Nancy Huston, Italian poet Patrizia Cavalli, and Mexican journalist Alma Guillermoprieto,
Greer rose to fame with her 1970 book The Female Eunuch, which explored how women were forced into secondary roles in society. She is considered a key figure in the second-wave feminist movement. She has also been involved in conservation of forest land in Australia.
Cunningham became a household name after his 1998 novel The Hours, which won him both the Pulitzer Prize for Fiction and PEN/Faulkner Award. His other novels include A Home at the End of the World and By Nightfall. He recently was consulting producer for a new miniseries version of Tales of the City, based on the writings of Armistead Maupin.
Dominican American writer Díaz won the 2008 Pulitzer Prize for Fiction for his novel The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao as well as the John Sargent, Sr. First Novel Prize, the Dayton Peace Prize in Fiction, and the National Book Critics Circle Award. He has also written two short story collections and a children’s book.
Key events will take place at the Czech Senate, with films at the American Center, kino Světozor, and University of Economics (VŠE), and book signings at Art & Event Gallery Black Swan.
The theme this year is Beauty Saves the World. Greer, Cunningham and Jullien at the gala opening will discuss the horror of the world hides behind its beauty. Other discussions are beauty saves the world, with Greer, Huston, and Cavalli; and dancing and drowning, with Díaz and Guillermoprieto.
Aside from the discussions, there will be readings by the authors, and several film screenings.
One of the festival highlights is a screening of the film The Hours, with a commentary by Michael Cunningham at kino Světozor. The screenplay, based on Cunningham’s book was written by David Hare. Nicole Kidman won an Oscar for her acting role, and Philip Glass won a BAFTA for his score.
Along with festival president Michael March, he will also discuss the documentary film Barney’s Wall: Portrait of a Game Changer, about radical publisher Barney Rosset. It will screen at the American Center.
Another film at the festival is To the Mountaintops, with an introduction by director James Gabbe at the University of Economics (VŠE). The film explores the rising power of China and India.
Discussions and readings will be available on online, via Czech TV (ČT).