(Netherlands, 1987) is the author of the novels De consequenties (Consequences, 2014) and kamers antikamers (Rooms Anti-Rooms, 2019, nominated for the bng Bank Literature Prize). Her debut was nominated for the 2015 Libris Literature Prize and won the Anton Wachter Prize, the Lucy B. and C.W. van der Hoogt Prize, the Opzij Literature Prize, and the audience award of the Gouden Boekenuil. Translations of her novels have appeared in Germany, France, the Czech Republic and the United States. She has written for the Dutch weekly magazine De Groene Amsterdammer since 2014 and is an editor at Dutch literary magazine De Gids. Her book Zelf doen (Do It Myself, 2022) is a collection of essays written for De Groene. Published in 2023, Cassandra is about how disruptive a never-solved disappearance can be for everyone involved.(WU2024)
Archive available for: Niña Weijers
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!
What is the similarity between Etel, Joan and bell? Literary luminaries Etel Adnan, Joan Didion and bell hooks are all (partly) American, all three have left a great mark on Western thought, and all three passed away last year. Their work is still alive and well, and inspires an ever-growing group of readers. That is why we are paying tribute to these authors on Wednesday, May 18. We have invited three contemporary authors, self-proclaimed enthusiasts who also dare to be critical, and who will share with us their personal relationship with with the work and ideas of Etel, Joan and bell respectively. Who were these luminaries? And why is their work and legacy still so relevant today?
We will hear...
Rasha Hilwi on Etel Adnan, a writer you should get to know if you didn't already. This Syrian-American poet, essayist and artist created work in three languages and at least as many genres. Oil paintings, films, tapestries and poems - Adnan's work has been exhibited all over the world. From 20 May, the Van Gogh Museum will dedicate a major exhibition to her.
Sabrine Ingabire on bell hooks, the iconic American writer, professor, feminist and activist. hooks wrote more than 30 books on issues such as race, gender, capitalism and her answer to almost every problem in the world: love. 'Her philosophy on love was about more than romantic love. It is one in which people recognize each other's humanity and approach each other as equals. A love of justice,' according to journalist and writer Ingabire in her eulogy about bell hooks in NRC.
Niña Weijers on Joan Didion, the writer and journalist who gained great fame with the many incisive essays and books she wrote about American culture. Chaos, cultural decay and fear play a leading role in many of her books, of which The Year of Magical Thinking has become the best known. 'It is almost impossible not to see how she embodies her work: the cool seriousness, the detachment of her gaze, the glamour and at the same time the ascetic, the undeniable American quality of her appearance', according to Weijers in her essay in De Groene Amsterdammer.
Moderator Nisrine Mbarki, translator of Etel Adnan and bell hooks, will lead the conversation.
Etel, Joan and bell - a tribute to three literary luminaries
Date: Wednesday, May 18, 2022
Starts: 20:30, hall opens at 20:00
Tickets: €11 (regular), €8 (library card, CJP and Ooievaarspas), free admission for students, schoolchildren and We Are Public-members.
Location: Studio B, Central Library The Hague
English and Dutch program.
Programme compiled by Fleur Jeras (Writers Unlimited) Book sales by De Vries Van Stockum Boeken.
In the Filmhuis Studio the festival's guest writers present their favourite literary texts and explain why a particular poem, novel excerpt, or song lyric influenced their life and work. Which memory, what feeling does this text call up for them? A continuous interview programme, in which the audience also talks with the writers. Hosted by Arjan Peters and Nuweira Youskine. In Dutch.
"If a man isn't willing to stand behind his opinions, either his opinions are no good or he's no good," said poet Ezra Pound. Do art and literature create a safe environment for breaking taboos? Should artists and writers explore their personal boundaries, as well as those of politics and society? Arjan Visser ponders these and other questions with authors Muhammad Aladdin and Niña Weijers and graphic novelist Leela Corman, all three of whom touch on delicate issues in their work. In English.