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Festival opening with Celeste Ng, Adriaan van Dis, Aminatta Forna, Sholeh Rezazadeh and others

Opening Night, Writers Unlimited Internationaal Literatuurfestival Den Haag 2024.
Opening Night, Writers Unlimited Internationaal Literatuurfestival Den Haag 2024.

Freedom to speak or write is important but impossible for many. The festival opens 18 January with "human voices" (the theme of this edition) from The Netherlands and beyond: a unique lineup of famous writers speaking out.

This is one of those evenings of inspiration, creative thoughts and apt words that make a deep impression. Meet the authors who make their voices heard for four delightful days of this Hague festival!


Opening Night 2024 on 18 January in Theater aan het Spui is focused on freedom of speech and the power of literature, with appearances and readings by US author Celeste Ng, internationally one of the most-read authors with Asian roots; the British writer Aminatta Forna (The Hired Man); Adriaan van Dis, whose moving new novel has just been published; Burhan Sönmez, author of Istanbul, Istanbul and chair of the writers organization PEN International.

Young spoken-word artist and writer Daniëlle Zawadi from The Hague and, accompanied by percussionist Hashem Kabreet, writer and novelist Sholeh Rezazadeh will give spoken word performances.

After that, host Jörgen Tjon A Fong discusses with the US novelist Celeste Ng (Our Missing Hearts) and French writer and photojournalist Emilienne Malfatto (Le Colonel ne dort pas; The Colonel Doesn't Sleep) what "human voices" means to them in relation to freedom of speech. Finally, Hague mayor Jan van Zanen kicks things off by officially opening the festival!

Posted on: Wednesday 17 January 2024