(Turkey, 1982) is an actress, singer and theatre artist. She has frequently appeared on Dutch stages and television and in Dutch films; she received the 2008 Guido de Moor Prize for her role in the theatre production Hollandse spoor (Dutch Rails). She performed with her own band, Meral's Harem, in the 2015-16 production Ochtendzee (Morning Sea) and appeared in the musical Lost Tango in 2019. After the first Corona-lockdown in 2020, she toured the Netherlands with musicians Chris Doyle and Frank Rosaly as the Meral Polat Trio with Merals Zomer (Meral's Summer): sentimenal ballads of woe, love songs full of longing, and sexy up-tempo numbers in Turkish and Kurdish. On their debut album Ez Kî Me (Who Am I), released in December 2022, Meral performs her own texts as well as poems written by her father, Ali Ihsan Polat.(WN 2023)
Archive available for: Meral Polat
On the afternoon of Sunday 12 March, a world-renowned writer came to The Hague: English author Rachel Cusk. She was interviewed by Dutch writer Niña Weijers on her books and themes. The event in Zaal 1 was framed by readings from Cusk's oeuvre by actress Sophie van Winden and musical performances by actor and singer Meral Polat. An after-programme in the foyer included two mini-lectures by authors Ianthe Mosselman and Fleur Speet reflecting on elements of Cusks work, and also book sales and signing.
Rachel Cusk, arguably today's most important English-language writer, authored the non-fiction books A Life's Work (2001), Aftermath (2012) and Coventry (2019), and the novels Arlington Park (2006), the phenomenal Outline trilogy (Outline, Transit, Kudos, 2014-2018) and Second Place (2021).
Niña Weijers spoke with Rachel Cusk about occupying space: as a writer, a woman, a narrator, a character, and about being sent to 'Coventry.' About being seen, being recognised. About art and its effect on a 'self.' About being a woman in different stages of life. About constantly reinventing yourself as a writer.
After-programme: mini-lectures by Ianthe Mosselman and Fleur Speet
The foyer programme (16:15-16:45 hyours) consisted of two (Dutch spoken, English version projections) mini-lectures. Ianthe Mosselman, author of Al die liefde en woede (2022), will reflect on Cusk's A Life's Work (2001). Fleur Speet gave a mini-lecture on Lorenzo in Taos, the 1932 book by Mabel Dodge Luhan that is the major inspiration behind Cusk's most recent international bestseller Second Place (2021).
Day ticket: also visit the evening programme Literary Focus: Ukraine
The World According to Cusk was followed on Sunday 12 March, as of 19:30h in Theater aan het Spui, by the, also English spoken, Winternachten festival evening programme Literary focus: Ukraine.
A reduced price day ticket for both festival programmes on 12 March was available.
Bookstore De Vries van Stockum was present in the lobby with a stand offering books by participating authors of this programme, among others including signing opportunities!