Poland is the Market Focus country at The London Book Fair in 2017. Over the course of the fair, a selection of the best contemporary writers from Poland is visiting the UK to take part in a series of events with UK writers. You can read more about The London Book Fair programme here.
Monday 13 March, 14.00-17.00 | British Library
This study day considers Conrad’s career as a novelist and his contribution to British culture in the year that has been designated ‘Joseph Conrad Year’ in Poland. Joseph Conrad, probably now best known as the author of Heart of Darkness and The Secret Agent, was born in 1857 at a time when Poland had been divided between Austria, Prussia and Russia. He first came to Britain in 1878 as an apprentice on a British steamer. He spent the next sixteen years in the British Merchant Navy before beginning his career as a novelist with Almayer’s Folly.
Professor Robert Hampson FEA, FRSA initiates an afternoon of expert discussion with a lecture on Conrad as ‘England’s Polish Genius’, followed by a conversation around ‘Conrad and London’ and a panel of novelists, including Giles Foden, discussing Conrad’s influence on their work.
In association with the British Council and the Joseph Conrad Society (UK)
Tickets: £15 (£10 member/under 18), online booking essential
Monday 13 March, 18.00-19.00 | UCL, School of Slavonic and East European Studies
18th and 19th century Poland and Russia – different paths and models of development
The School of Slavonic and East European Studies together with the British Council is delighted to welcome the eminent visiting Polish scholar and author Professor Andrzej Nowak, who is widely recognised for his work on the political history of Central and Eastern Europe. He will discuss 18th and 19th century Poland and Russia with SSEES’s Emeritus Professor Geoffrey Hosking OBE, author of several highly-regarded works on Russian history, and Professor Simon Dixon, a specialist in imperial Russian history. The event will be chaired by SSEES Director Professor Jan Kubik.
Tickets FREE, online booking essential
Tuesday 14 March, 19.00-20.30 | British Library
A Life of Crime? Crime Writing from Poland
Polish writers Olga Tokarczuk and Zygmunt Miloszewski join us to discuss the permeable boundaries of genre fiction. Miloszewski is a writer who has made his name writing psychological thrillers like Rage and a Grain of Truth, but he has also experimented with other genres, including fantasy and thrillers. Tokarczuk is famous for her strange, introspective works of fiction, but her crime novel Drive Your Plough Over the Bones of the Dead has recently been made into a film by Agnieszka Holland. Together they will discuss genre fiction, its possibilities and limitations, and whether genre restrictions for writers are helpful or unhelpful. Chaired by Claire Armitstead.
Book tickets on the British Library website
Tuesday 14 March, 18:30-19:30 | Daunt Books Hampstead
Live drawing with the authors of Maps, the Mizielińskis
Join acclaimed illustrators of worldwide bestseller Maps, the Mizielińskis, at Daunt Bookshop in Hampstead, for a once in a lifetime opportunity to watch these artists at work. The Mizielińskis will talk about their work and demonstrate their unique illustration style.
Thursday 16 March, 19.00-20.30 | London Review Bookshop
Olga Tokarczuk in conversation with Deborah Levy
One of the most acclaimed Polish writers of her generation, Olga Tokarczuk has won multiple prizes, most recently for her novel The Books of Jacob, which explores an important moment in 18th Century Polish history. Two recent novels, The Books of Jacob and Flights, will shortly be published by Fitzcarraldo Editions. Here, she discusses writing fiction in Poland and her place within it, as well as the similarities it shares with UK fiction – and the differences that set it apart. Join us for an evening of discussion with Booker prize nominated Deborah Levy.
Book tickets on the London Review Bookshop website
Thursday 16 March, 18.30-20.00 | Waterstones Gower Street
Are we living in an era predicted by science fiction? What do we imagine for our future? Celebrated Polish science-fiction writer Jacek Dukaj and British-Malaysian writer Zen Cho come together to discuss ‘imagined futures’ within the genres of speculative and science fiction. This event is in collaboration with English PEN, and chaired by Anna James.
Book tickets on the Waterstones website
Thursday 16 March, 20.00-21.30 | The Saison Poetry Library at the Southbank Centre
World Poets Series: Polish Poets in London
In recent years, The Poetry Library has hosted readings from poets from South Korea, Mexico and Syria. This year, we host poets from Poland to celebrate the Polish focus of the London Book Fair. With Marzanna Kielar, Jacek Dehnel and George Szirtes.
Book tickets on the Southbank Centre website
Friday 17 March, 18:30–21:00 | Yurt Café, St. Katharine's Precinct
Join acclaimed artist Ginny Skinner for an evening of live drawing at the award-winning Yurt Café in Limehouse, east London. Marta Ignerska designs and illustrates books for children and adults. Her work has garnered numerous prestigious awards. Ginny Skinner is a painter and illustrator of the graphic novel Briony Hatch. Over the course of the evening, they will create new pieces of art. Audience members will also be encouraged to participate. This event is in partnership with Limehouse Books. Tickets: £3.
Saturday 18 March, 13.30 | Toxteth Library, Liverpool
Olga Tokarczuk on her Writing, Polish Identity and Multiculturalism
Merseyside Polonia is privileged to host a special event with Olga Tokarczuk, one of the most celebrated contemporary Polish authors. A master of storytelling with philosophical depth who brings into her writing mythical qualities inspired by the work of Carl Jung. An award-winning author courageously looking at Polish identity against its multicultural history set in ethnically diverse Poland.
Olga Tokarczuk’s books such as House of Day, House of Night (Granta Books) and Primeval and Other Times (Twisted Spoon Press) have been already printed in English, and her two recent novels, The Books of Jacob and Flights, will shortly be published in the UK, for the first time, by Fitzcarraldo Editions.
Join Merseyside Polonia for an afternoon of readings from Olga Tokarczuk (in English and Polish) and a discussion with the author.
Saturday 18 March, 14.15-15.15 | Harlow Library, Essex
Partners in Crime
Tajemnica Domu Helclów (The Mystery of Helcel House) is a deliciously camp pastiche of a period crime story published by Jacek Dehnel and Piotr Tarczynski under the name Maryla Szymiczkowa. The adventurers of their main protagonist, Mrs Szczupaczynska, often referred to as 'the Miss Marple of Polish crime fiction', will be shared with leading UK ‘partners in crime fiction’ Nicci French.