Jacek Dukaj – one of the best known science fiction writers in the world; Turkish sociologist Nilüfer Göle, journalist and biographer Magdalena Grzebałkowska; Iranian novelist Goli Taraghi; American author of gloomy visions of the future Hugh Howey; journalist and biographer Wojciech Orliński; prose writer Dorota Masłowska and Maciej Zaremba Bielawski – a reporter who lives in Sweden and writes in Swedish, are among writers who will visit Krakow in October and will be hosted at the Conrad Festival.
Jacek Dukaj is one of the world-renowned Polish science fiction writers. Dukaj translated into Polish one of the most famous words by Joseph Conrad: Heart of Darkness. His translation under the new title Serce ciemności will be released at this year’s edition of the Festival, offering the opportunity for a debate on the topicality of Conrad’s vision of evil.
Turkish sociologists and publicist Nilüfer Göle has authored books and publications connected with Islam and the position of women in the Muslim world. Last year her book Muzułmanie w Europie devoted to tensions and conflicts in Europe based on religious and ethnic background saw print in Poland. For a few years Göle carried out research on disputes connected with the presence of Muslims in Europe. At the festival she will talk about the sources and development of cultural conflicts of key importance for the contemporary world.
Magdalena Grzebałkowska is a writer and a journalist, the author of Rev. Jan Twardowski’s and Tomasz and Zdzisław Beksiński’s biographies. The latter is an insightful and heartbreaking history of the Beksiński family, on the basis of autobiographic materials left by Zbigniew Beksiński. During the festival debate she will talk about the price one pays trying to capture every moment of one’s life.
Hugh Howey – American prose writer, specialising in science fiction literature. In his stories he describes the world after a disaster, in which unrest turns into a constant horror. He is the author of the best-selling series of novels Silos. Its plot developed in a post-apocalyptic reality , where people are forced to live in high silos cities, dug deep under the ground. Before starting his writing career, he worked as yacht captain, roofer and sound engineer. He published the first part of his series on his won via Amazon’s platform Kindle Direct Publishing. In Poland his book saw print in 2013 (translated by Marcin Kiszel), and other parts and in the years 2014 and 2015. During the Festival Hugh Howey will answer the question about dystopian vision of our future.
Dorota Masłowska constantly looks at Poland and the Poles to catch us red-handed. Her debut book Wojna polsko-ruska pod flagą biało-czerwoną (2001) was published when she was still a high school student just before the final exam. The book raised a lot of controversies. The scandalising ”first Polish hoodies novel”, brought about a generation change in Polish literature and a characteristic colloquial, collage-style aesthetics. Masłowska’s next book Paw królowej won the Nike Award 2006. She also authored two dramas Dwoje biednych Rumunów mówiących po polsku (2006) and Między nami dobrze jest (2008). During the meet-the-author session with the readers Masłowska will talk about those aspects of our Polishness we are ashamed of but constantly cultivate.
Wojciech Orliński – a chemist by background, by profession: a journalist, publicist, writer, for years connected with ”Gazeta Wyborcza”. He writes about pop culture and socio-political issues of new media. In 2007 his debut book devoted to Stanisław Lem saw print (Co to są sepulki? Wszystko o Lemie). His new book published in this year Lem. Życie nie z tej ziemi is also devoted to that writer. For the readers Lem is first of all his oeuvre: several dozen books by one of the greatest visionary writers of the 20th century. Orliński shows how closely Lem’s work was connected with his life story, and will talk about the relation between the writer’s life and work at the Conrad Festival.
Iranian novelist Goli Taraghi was born in Tehran. He graduated from Drake University, US. Before the Iranian revolution she lectured at the Tehran University. Before the Iranian revolution she lectured at the Tehran University, and after its closing emigrated to Paris together with her two children. She authored a dozen or so novels and collections of short stories, as well as numerous books on philosophy and literature. Her characters are usually people hovering somewhere in-between tradition that excludes individuality but offers comfort and modernity which is chaotic, but offers a space for independence. During the Conrad festival she will participate in the debate on a society that has reached an impasse.
Maciej Zaremba Bielawski – a reporter living in Sweden and writing ins Swedish is well known to the audience of the Conrad Festival. He emigrated to Sweden in 1969 .He became known for his book about Swedish eugenics, which saw print in Poland in 2011 under the title Higieniści. From 2013 to 2016 he was a member of the jury of the Ryszard Kapuściński Award for literary reportage. Together with his wife Agneta Pleijel, he translated Zbigniew Herbert’s poetry into Swedish. In 2013 his book Polski hydraulik i nowe opowieści ze Szwecji saw print. At a meeting with the audience of the Conrad Festival he will talk about what we can expect of a reporter these days.
We should add that Siri Hustvedt, Agneta Pleijel, Adam Hochschild, Wojciech Brzoska, Maria Dąbrowska, Frédéric Boyer and Serge Bloch have already confirmed their presence at the Festival.