Maltese Literature Nights: Award-winning Maltese authors coming to Brussels


Monday, 04 March 2019 15:15
In collaboration with Librebook – Bruxelles, the National Book Council of Malta is pleased to announce the presence in Brussels of two prize-winning Maltese authors, Lou Drofenik and Loranne Vella, for a series of readings and discussions on their works, the island’s literary landscape, and more.
This year’s edition of Maltese Literature Nights takes places on 16 and 19 March and is the third in a string of similar international events set up by the National Book Council of Malta.

Maltese-Australian novelist Lou Drofenik will be presenting her most recent works, including Love in the Time of the Inquisition (Horizons, 2017), and The Reluctant Healer (Horizons, 2018). Drofenik is one of a handful of Maltese writers who chose to write in English. Her voice is made even more distinct when she draws on her own migrant experience in works as The Confectioner's Daughter (Horizons, 2016), a historical novel that tugs at the Mediterranean island’s patriarchal structures. The novel recounts the trials of six generations of women in a Maltese family as their experiences carry them away from their village bakery into the Australian cities of Sydney and Melbourne. It was awarded with the 2017 National Book Prize for novels in Maltese and English.

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Lou Drofenik                                                                           Loranne Vella

The second evening of readings reflect a more thematic slant, with a timely discussion on dystopian fiction in a post-Brexit Europe. Against the backdrop of a rapidly approaching Brexit, Loranne Vella will be joined by German writer Roland Siegloff to present their recent dystopian novels, read extracts from their respective novels Rokit (in Maltese and English) and Wolke sechs (in German), and discuss their different visions for the future of Europe with the public. Michael Stabenow, Brussels correspondent of the German daily Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung, will be moderating the debate.

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Loranne is a Brussels-based Maltese author and the winner of the 2018 National Book Prize with her book Rokit. In 2016 Loranne was awarded the Terramaxka Prize for her translation of Abril Calero's Violeta (Vjoletta, Merlin Publishers, 2015). Rokit explores the the fragmentation of Europe through the eyes of Petrel as he returns to discover his grandmother’s Maltese roots and find Malta under siege by the effects of global warming.

Wolke sechs (Cloud six, 2018) is the third novel by German journalist and writer Roland Siegloff. It tells the story of Adrian, a British lobbyist for the nuclear industry, and his former girlfriend Adriana, an EU official, confronted with a life-threatening situation in a post-Brexit Brussels. The author lives in Brussels and Berlin.

Members of the audience will have the opportunity to talk to the authors, ask questions and have their books signed.

Maltese Literature Nights is an initiative of the National Book Council - it will be taking place at 15:00 on Saturday 16 March in the presence of Lou Drofenik, and at 19:00 on Tuesday 19 March in the presence of Loranne Vella. For updates and further details, visit the NBC website and the Facebook event pages below.

The National Book Council of Malta is a public entity that caters for the Maltese book industry, acting as literary agent for authors and publishers, coordinating, facilitating and subsidising translations and export projects.
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