The old good European novel used to be full of cosmopolitan and experimental characters, obsessed with Mitteleuropa and exile. Things have changed quite a bit, so what’s the European novel in the age of Brexit and deaths at sea in the Mediterranean? In this extraordinary panel discussion, two major award-winning writers discuss how the tradition of the European novel can still try to establish a new canon in the face of political turmoil, investigating the bleeding edges of Europe and switching the focus onto neglected geographies and voices.
Nicola Lagioia is one of Italy’s most critically acclaimed contemporary novelists, a contributor to the most prominent Italian culture pages, and the programme director of the Turin International Book Fair. His novel Ferocity (published in English by Europa Editions) won the Strega Prize in 2015.
Mathias Énard with his novel Compass won the 2015 Prix Goncourt, the 2017 Leipziger Book Award for European Understanding, and was shortlisted for the 2017 Man Booker International Prize. His books are published in UK by Fitzcarraldo. His new book translated in English, Tell Them of Battles, Kings, and Elephants, is due in November 2018.
Chair: Catherine Taylor is the former deputy director of English PEN, and a literary critic and editor currently contributing to Guardian Review, New Statesman, FT Life & Arts, the TLS and the Irish Times.