Several names have been added to the roster of this year’s HeadRead literary festival, taking place from 23 to 27 May – the esteemed Russian author Vladimir Sorokin, Estonian-born French author Katrina Kalda, US author and critic John Freeman and the German experimental poetry group Berlin Sound Poets are performing at the festival.
Vladimir Sorokin (b 1955) is a versatile creator. In addition to being a renowned writer, he is also an artist, a screenwriter, playwright, a book designer. As an author, he first made his name among the underground artists and writers of Moscow of the 1980s. His works have been translated into nearly 30 languages. He has won the prestigious Andrei Belyi Award for his ‘services to Russian literature’.
Katrina Kalda (b 1980) is an Estonian author living in France. Although she writes in French, she is interested in the atmosphere of the newly independent Estonia, the collapse of the Soviet Union and its aftermath. Her books have won several prizes.
John Freeman (b 1974) is an American writer and critic. He has edited the literary magazine Granta and headed the National Book Critics Circle. Freeman’s writing has been published in the New York Times Book Review, The Guardian and The Los Angeles Times, The Wall Street Journal. Freeman’s first book looked at the effect of email and the internet on our daily lives – The Tyranny of E-mail: The Four-Thousand Year Journey to Your Inbox (2009). His second book How to Read a Novelist (2013) included interviews with renowned authors like Margaret Atwood, Haruki Murakami and John Updike. Last year, Freeman published a book on inequality in today’s society – Tales of Two Americas: Stories of Inequality in a Divided Nation (2017).
Berlin Sound Poets Quoi Tête is a group that formed in 2013 in Berlin, comprising Tomomi Adachi, Ernesto Estrella, Jelle Meander and Cia Rinne. They are joined by their interest in sound and poetry and the contacts and overlap between them. The performances of BSP are vocal-based explorations of poetry, experimental music and conceptual linguistics.
Other confirmed authors at the festival: crime writer Martin Edwards (UK), children’s author Timo Parvela (Finland), novelist, biographer and columnist A. N. Wilson (UK), poet and essayist Kathleen Jamie (UK), poet and crime writer Sophie Hannah (UK), poet Knut Odegard (Norway), prose write Marcelo Birmajer (Argentina), novelist and poet James Robertson (UK), historian and novelist Peter Aleshkovsky (Russia), poet and publisher Thomas Cepaitis (Lithuania), novelist Janis Jonevs (Latvia), singer and poet Joose Keskitalo (Finland), historian and writer Jason Goodwin (UK), Basque author Kirmen Uribe (Spain), crime writer and publisher Dan Mallory (USA), novelist Elina Hirvonen (Finland), neurosurgeon Henry Marsh(UK), historian Helen Rappaport (UK), novelist Michel Faber (UK), novelist Domenico Starnone (Italy), crime writer Michael Katz Krefeld (Denmark) and translator, editor and one of the most influential writers in Brazilian literature Daniel Galera.
The tenth HeadRead literary festival takes place from 23 to 27 May 2018. Updates about the festival are available on the festival website and Facebook page.