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High Impact Literature from the Low Countries Tour 14–19 January 2013

22 November 2012

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6 top writers from the Low Countries on tour to 6 cities for 6 nights of readings & debates to showcase the best high impact literature from Flanders & the Netherlands in English translation with a final gala gathering in London of authors from both the UK & the Low Countries

They are the Low Countries Literati: all prize-winners and best-sellers back home, all writing in Dutch but from 2 different countries – Belgium and the Netherlands. Two of our closest neighbours producing some of the most exciting literature in Europe, but about whom we know too little and they too little about each other. Now for the first time, and in a unique collaboration, 6 of the best Dutch-language storytellers are coming together for a rock star-style tour of 6 English cities – to perform for us and to discover what they may (or may not!) have in common.

Sponsored by Flanders House and the Netherlands Embassy in London and curated by Rosie Goldsmith, known in the UK as a champion of international fiction, High Impact  is a unique idea with a unique group of writers. You’ll hear the Dutch Poet Laureate side by side with Flanders’ leading graphic novelist; 2 global best-sellers, a thriller writer, a celebrated historian and a travel writer – together on stage every night.

Selected by Rosie from across Flanders and the Netherlands not only for their brilliant books but also for their wit, wisdom, fluent English and High Impact performance skills, these authors will wow you with their readings and ideas. Each night a different city, a different theme, a different type of venue (a church, theatre, an arts centre). And if by the time they reach London for their final gig and you’re still unconvinced of the high impact of Low Countries Literature, then the impact level will be boosted even further when they perform alongside English literati such as Tracy Chevalier, Deborah Moggach and David Mitchell, themselves famous for writing on Dutch themes.

Our Low Countries Literati

  • LIEVE JORIS: whose journalism & non-fiction books on Africa, China, the Middle East & Europe have earned her the reputation as the VS Naipaul or Ryszard Kapuscinski of the Low Countries. Author of the acclaimed The Rebel’s Hour (Atlantic, 2008) ‘Powerful and timely, intensely imagined’ (Paul Theroux)
  • HERMAN KOCH: former actor & comedy star; best-selling novelist – in the Netherlands & round the world – of the thrilling, chilling mega-hit The Dinner (Atlantic, 2012) ‘Proves how powerful fiction can be in illuminating the modern world’ (The Economist)
  • RAMSEY NASR: the Dutch Poet Laureate & all-round Renaissance Man (actor, director, poet, journalist & librettist), famed for his beautiful prose, provocative politics & exciting public appearances. Heavenly Life was published by Banipal in 2010. ‘With this collection Anglophone readers are introduced to a poet of global scope’ (Marilyn Hacker)
  • PETER TERRIN: this year’s winner of the prestigious AKO Literature Prize & author of the magnificent psychological thriller The Guard (Maclehose Press, 2012) ‘A rich and gripping mix of all the ingredients that make for a truly haunting atmosphere’ (Writers’ Hub)
  • CHIKA UNIGWE: born in Nigeria, at home in Belgium; poet, short story writer & award-winning novelist of On Black Sisters’ Street (Vintage, 2009) ‘Exquisitely observed and heartbreaking’ (The Guardian)
  • JUDITH VANISTENDAEL: the Posy Simmonds of Belgium; the bold & brilliant graphic novelist of When David Lost His Voice (Self Made Hero, 2012) ‘Big, bleak, brilliant and stark’ (The Economist)
  • Plus special guest appearances by GEERT MAK, our High Impact superstar historian and essayist; author of In Europe (Harvill Secker, 2007) & The Bridge (Vintage, 2009); described as ‘Peter Ackroyd meets W.G Sebald.’

Our Cities and Venues

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  • The Tabernacle (35 Powis Square London W11 2AY) for an evening of music, beer, cheese and literature, when our Low Countries Literati will be joined by UK writers with Dutch links, including Tracy Chevalier & Deborah Moggach.

Notes for Editors

You want a HIGH IMPACT literary event? Look no further! Tickets on sale at all venues.

HIGH IMPACT is a joint commission of the Netherlands Embassy & Flanders House, London.

Flanders House, London: Flanders House is part of the Belgian Embassy, with the role of promoting Flanders in the UK. From the Dutch-speaking part of Belgium, the Flemish have their own culture and traditions which they proudly share with the UK. 

The Kingdom of the Netherlands Embassy, London: thousands of Dutch people from the Netherlands have established themselves in the UK. Like the Flemish, the Dutch community is well integrated in British society & works closely with the UK.

Note for Editors

HIGH IMPACT Literature Consultants:

ROSIE GOLDSMITH: is a journalist specialising in arts and current affairs, in the UK & abroad. Over 20 years’ working for the BBC, she has presented flagship BBC shows like Front Row, Open Book, Profile, A World In Your Ear & Crossing Continents. She has been the chair of European Literature Night in the UK since its launch in 2009, runs the independent European Literature Network, chairs, curates & promotes arts & literature events in the UK & round the world.

NICK CHAPMAN: is a literary events producer, with experience working with both international & UK writers for the British Council and International PEN. In 2012 he co-produced the Poetry Parnassus UK Tour and events for the European Commission with Speaking Volumes Live Literature Productions.

Page last modified on 22 nov 12 08:50 by Ulrich Tiedau