Introducing programmer and curator Ilonka Reintjens
Who creates the ilterary programmes at Writers Unlimited? Through the upcoming weeks, we introduce our programme team. First: Ilonka Reintjens.
Ilonka is a programmer, literary agent and coordinator of literary events. Before this, she worked as a publisher and editor at various publishing houses. She currently freelances for institutions such as the Dutch Literary Fund, the production platform De Nieuwe Oost (formerly Wintertuin).
Since 2018, Ilonka is connected to Writers Unlimited, as a programmer and, from 2019, as the curator. She creates programmes for the Winternachten international literary festival The Hague, fror the Writers Unlimited literary event series on location throughout The Hague and for series Writers Unlimited Podcast that start shortly.
Of course we asked Ilonka for reading advice!
The book I am now reading:
"Why I'm No Longer Talking to White People by Reni Eddo-Lodge. There is still a lot to learn and to understand."
The book that was not appreciated enough in my eyes:
"Future Home of the Living God by Louise Erdrich. A book like Margaret Atwoods The Handmaid's Tale, outlining a future in which pregnant women are arrested and their newborn babies screened. I read it in one go, with a knot in my stomach for the gruesome idea of the proposed reality in which women no longer have the right to decide on their own bodies and children".
The book that changed me:
"Almost every book I read sets something in motion in me. Sometimes it brings me an idea, an insight, or recognition. But Ellen Deckwitz's collection Hogere Natuurkunde felt like coming home to a familiar world that was suddenly presented to me by someone else. That's how sharp her observations are, that's how beautiful the words she gives to her thoughts, and that's how recognizable the images she sketches. Hogere Natuurkunde is about her grandmother who comes from the Dutch East Indies and entrusted her with all the pain and traumas of the war".