Prize-winning Canadian author Margaret Atwood inaugurated the 7th Reykjavík International Literature Festival Sunday night at the Nordic House. The festival runs through September 17. This year’s festival will emphasize the relationship between literature and political / global events. Atwood kicked off the week-long meeting of authors and fans with a call for governments to respect the sacred right of freedom of expression.
At the festival you might spot Atwood rubbing shoulders with English writer Nick Hornby. Hanan Al-Shaykh, one of the foremost female writers in the Arab world, will be on hand, as will two winners of the Nordic Council’s Literary Prize, Finland’s Kari Hotakainen (2004) and Norway´s Lars Saabye Christensen (2002). Australian-born and world-reared, DBC Pierre, who won the 2003 Man Booker Prize for “Vernon God Little,” will be in town for the event as well.
American writers Siri Hustvedt and her husband fellow writer Paul Auster will also be in attendance. Auster is one of America´s best known writers and Hustvedt´s novel, “What I Loved” won Canada’s Prix des librairies du Quebec for the best foreign book of 2003.
Many other authors representing countries such as Spain, Italy and Turkey will be in attendance, as will some of Icelands best known writers. For more information, visit the festival Web site, www.bokmenntahatid.is