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Rodaan Al Galidi, Annelies Verbeke and Pierre Jarawan on Friday 21 February in Central Library The Hague

Rodaan Al Galidi going Dutch - foto Lars van den Brink
Rodaan Al Galidi going Dutch - foto Lars van den Brink

Through The Eyes of Immigrants: Netherlands, Flanders and Germany through the eyes of immigrants. Three countries, three authors, three novels about immigrants finding their way in a new country. With Rodaan Al Galidi (Two Blankets, Three Sheets - Hoe ik talent voor het leven kreeg ) Annelies Verbeke (Thirty Days - Dertig dagen) and Pierre Jarawan (The Storyteller - De zoon van de verhalenverteller). The authors will be interviewed by Fiep van Bodegom and will also read excerpts from their work. English language evening.

Through The Eyes of Immigrants | Friday 21 February | 20:30-22.00 hrs | Studio B, Centrale Bibliotheek, Spui 68 Den Haag | Free entrance for students. 7,- for library members, Ooievaarspas and CJP. Regular fee 10,- | Online tickets available here.

Rodaan Al Galidi i(1971) s a poet and writer. Born in Iraq and trained as a civil engineer, he has lived in the Netherlands since 1998. As an undocumented asylum seeker he did not have the right to attend language classes, so he taught himself to read and write Dutch. His novel De autist en de postduif ('The Autist and the Carrier Pigeon') won the European Union Prize for Literature in 2011—the same year he failed his Dutch citizenship course. Two Blankets, Three Sheets, already a bestseller in the Netherlands, and recently published in the US and UK, is his most successful novel to date. Al Galidi divides his time between the Netherlands and Spain.
Two Blankets, Three Sheets: Amsterdam Airport, 1998. Samir Karim steps off a plane from Vietnam, flushes his fake passport down the toilet, and requests asylum. Fleeing Iraq to avoid conscription into Saddam Hussein's army, he has spent seven years anonymously wandering through Asia. Now, safely in the heart of Europe, he is sent to an asylum center and assigned a bed in a shared dorm—where he will spend the next nine years. As he navigates his way around the absurdities of Dutch bureaucracy, Samir tries his best to get along with his 500 new housemates. Told with compassion and a unique sense of humor, this is an inspiring tale of survival, a close-up view of the hidden world of refugees and human smugglers, and a sobering reflection of our times. (Translation: Jonathan Reeder)

Annelies Verbeke
(1976) writes novels, film scripts and plays. Her debut novel Slaap! /Sleep! was published in 2003. Later followed three novels (Reus/Giant, Vissen redden/Saving Fish, Dertig Dagen/Thirty Days), three collections of short stories, a collection of journalistic stories and the 'graphic novella' Tirol Inferno, written in iambic pentameters and rhyme, made together with illustrator Klaas Verplancke. Her work is translated to 24 languages and won a couple of prizes, like the Flemish Debut Prize for SLEEP!, the F.Bordewijk prize, Opzij Literatuurprijs and NRC Handelsblad. She also wrote several theatre plays and film scenarios. As a great lover of short stories, she contributed to short story festivals around Europe, wrote monthly pieces on 'The short story collection of the month' in a Flemish newspaper and on the website of the Dutch Royal Library. She lives in Ghent, Belgium.
Thirty Days: Alphonse is a Senegalese immigrant who uproots his life in Brussels to become a handyman in rural Flanders. Likeable and charismatic, people cannot help but reveal their secrets, desires and unexpected dreams to him. In her typically astute style, Verbeke weaves a vivid and thought-provoking tale of contemporary life, subtly touching upon timely themes such as refugees and racism. Thirty Days is a deeply moving story about love, outsiders and the human need to connect. (Translation: Liz Waters)
 
Pierre Jarawan (1985 ) was born to a Lebanese father and a German mother and moved to Germany with his family at the age of three. Inspired by his father's imaginative bedtime stories, he started writing at the age of thirteen. He has won international prizes as a slam poet, and in 2016 was named Literature Star of the Year by the daily newspaper Abendzeitung. Jarawan received a literary scholarship from the City of Munich (the Bayerischer Kunstförderpreis) for The Storyteller, his first novel, which went on to become a bestseller and booksellers' favorite in Germany and the Netherlands and is now conquering the UK and US, where he has recently been touring. Pierre Jarawan lives in Munich.
The Storyteller: Samir leaves the safety and comfort of his family's adopted home in Germany for volatile Beirut in an attempt to find his missing father. His only clues are an old photo and the bedtime stories his father used to tell him. The Storyteller follows Samir's search for Brahim, the father whose heart was always yearning for his homeland, Lebanon. In this moving and gripping novel about family secrets, love, and friendship, Pierre Jarawan does for Lebanon what Khaled Hosseini's The Kite Runner did for Afghanistan. He pulls away the curtain of grim facts and figures to reveal the intimate story of an exiled family torn apart by civil war and guilt. In this rich and skillful account, Jarawan proves that he too is a masterful storyteller. (Translation: Rachel McNicholl and Sinéad Crowe)

Fiep van Bodegom studied literature and cultural analysis at the University of Amsterdam. She writes for the Groene Amsterdammer weekly and is an editor with the literary magazine De Gids. She regularly publishes reviews, essays, interviews, translations and prose in the aforementioned magazines as well as in Mister Motley, DeFusie, nY and DWB. Van Bodegom often appears at (literary) festivals and on stages, including at Perdu, Crossing Border and Spui25. She is also a programmer for Writers Unlimited in The Hague.

Program in cooperation with World Editions
Book sales by De Vries Van Stockum Boekverkopers

Posted on: Monday 27 January 2020