For our English speaking visitors, we are happy and honored to welcome Samar Yazbek, Anne Enright, Cynthia Haven and Igor Pomerantsev to this years festival.
International Authors in Attendance in Sigtuna Literature Festival 2016
Samar Yazbek (born 1970 in Syria) is a journalist and author. Threats and persecution by the regime in 2011 forced her to leave Syria with her daughter. Today she lives in exile in Paris. In 2012 she received the Swedish PEN´s Tucholsky Prize for A Woman in the Crossfire, a report from the Syrian war. The novel Cinnamon was her first book translated into Swedish. She has secretly returned to Syria several times, and in her latest book, The Crossing: My Journey to the Shattered Heart of Syria (2015), we get to follow her on three of these trips.
Anne Enright (born 1962) is an Irish writer who explores themes such as Irish history, family relationships, love and sex. She previously worked as a television producer and has written for magazines like The New Yorker and The Paris Review. In 2007 she was awarded the Booker Prize for The Gathering and 2012 came the love story The Forgotten Waltz. Her book The Green Road was recently published in Swedish.
Cynthia Haven is a critic, writer, and literary scholar affiliated with Stanford University, USA. She has contributed to The Nation, The Times Literary Supplement, The Washington Post, Le Monde, The Washington Post, The Los Angeles Times, The Virginia Quarterly Review, The Kenyon Review, and others. She has written extensively on Eastern European poets, and her previous books include Czeslaw Milosz: Conversations; Joseph Brodsky: Conversations; and An Invisible Rope: Portraits of Czeslaw Milosz. She has a forthcoming biography of the French theorist René Girard.
Igor Pomerantsev is a Russian poet and journalist. His poems were first published in 1972 in the Moscow magazine Smena. He was connected with the Ukrainian civil rights movement and in 1976 he was arrested by the secret police KGB, accused of possession and distribution of political literature, for listening to enemy radio broadcasts and to have had contact with foreigners. In 1977 Pomerantsev was advised to emigrate. In 1978 he moved with his wife and 10-month old son to West Germany and in 1979 to London, where he worked for the BBC’s Russian-language broadcasts. Since 1995 he lives in Prague.
Iman Al Ghafari
Iman Al Ghafari has a PhD in English literature. She has preferably written about same-sex relationships in the Arab World and the Middle East, feminist literary criticism and queer theory. She wrote her dissertation, The Quest for Identity in the Poetry of Sylvia Plath: A Feminist Approach at the University of Cairo. Iman Al Ghafari left Syria in 2012 and was most recently employed at the Amsterdam Research Center for Gender and Sexuality.
Iman Al Ghafari from Syria is the latest writer to be given sanctuary in Sigtuna within the ICORN program.