(Bulgaria, 1965). German author. In his novel The Collector of Worlds tells about the sojourns of the British adventurer Richard Burton. But more than about Burton this novel is about the way in which others see Europe. It is the leitmotiv in Trojanow's work: he wants to show the West how the rest of the world feels and thinks. Like Burton Trojanow saw a lot of the world. In 1971 he fled to Germany with his family and moved to Nairobi. Back in Germany, he studied law and international law, interrupting his study to found two publishing houses specialised in African literature. Then he followed in the footsteps of the hero of his youth, Burton, and journeyed through India and the Middle East. He made his debut in 1996 with the novel The World is Big and Salvation Lurks Everywhere, adapted for film in 2007. Meanwhile he has written fifteen titles (fiction and non-fiction), three of which have been translated into Dutch.(WIN 2009)
Archive available for: Ilija Trojanow
Eastern Europe has witnessed extensive political and social change in the past few decades. What is the effect of that change on its people? And what can we still expect? Journalist Hellen Kooijman talks about this with author Ilija Trojanow and professor/author Guido Snel. In his new novel Power and resistance Trojanow returns to Bulgaria, the country his parents fled from.
Trojanow knows better than most how to dissect the Eastern European soul. In his new novel Power and Resistance, the author of The Collector of Worlds, tells the story of Konstantin and Metodi. Konstantin is a fighter for the resistance and on the run from the Bulgarian police. Metodi is an officer, an opportunist and a careerist, a true representation of the state. The two get caught up in a struggle for their future and their past. When they begin to investigate their history, a history orchestrated and documented by the state, they realise that their memory might not tell the whole story. The publication of Power and Resistance forms a compelling point of departure for a discussion of the historic, political and social order that has provided the foundations for this novel, and about the current changing circumstances of Eastern Europe.
Guido Snel joins Trojanow in this 'Story of Eastern Europe'. Snel is a writer and professor in European literatures with a specific focus on Central and Eastern Europe and the Balkans. He lived in Istanbul for a year and wrote the novel Naar Istanbul (To Instanbul) about this experience.
This evening will be moderated by journalist Hellen Kooijman. Kooijman is a journalist and expert on Eastern Europe. She studied Eastern European studies and has been writing about Eastern Europe and Bulgaria for over 15 years.
This evening will be in English
Curated by Liliane Waanders - Writers Unlimited
Part two of the triptych 'The Real Thing', hosted by Michaël Zeeman, was supposed to deal with religion. During the programme however, a discussion on identity became the topic between Nuruddin Farah and Ilija Trojanow.
Watch the interviews with Ilja Trojanow and Nuruddin Farah and the recording of this program by the Dutch Muslim Broadcast.