Harold Pinter. Edna O'Brien. Martin Amis, Lawrence Ferlinghetti and Irvine Welsh. Those are just a few of the many renowned international authors who attended the Prague Writers' Festival over the years. Today we interview the festival's founder, Prague-based poet Michael March, who has led the festival into an amazing 14th year. I met recently with Michael to discuss not only this year's programme, but also the future of the festival, his thoughts on corporate Prague culture, and his recollection of a unique meeting with Arthur Miller.
One of the many interesting authors invited to this year's Prague Writer's Festival was Yann Martel, a Canadian novelist who made headlines world-wide by winning the prestigious Man Booker prize for his novel Life of Pi. Jan Velinger, who attended the festival, met the writer to discuss his fascinating book.
This year's annual Prague Writers' Festival has come to its final day and already it is obvious it will go down as one of the most successful literary events in the Czech Republic in 2003. Appearances by world-renowned writers at Theatre Minor in Prague, have been heavily attended to hear from famous, as well as lesser known, authors. The festival reached probably its highest peak two nights ago: Tuesday saw appearances by fresh Pulitzer prize winner Jeffrey Eugenides, who read from Middlesex, and Irvine Welsh, who read from his provocative first
During the Prague Writers' Festival's Tuesday panel discussion titled "The Great Dream of Heaven," Prague-born Peter Demetz described the American way of life as a sort of mythical entity that is much more than the golden arches of the McDonald's restaurants which stand out like eyesores throughout the American landscape. A resident of the USA since 1949, he said he considers America to be a sort of heaven because a person doesn't need a past, doesn't have to remember. Just what does the author of the extensive history Prague In Black and Gold
As you may know, the Prague Writers' Festival is currently in full flow. In terms of commercial success at least, the biggest name at the festival is undoubtedly the American author Elmore Leonard, whose first novel was published almost 50 years ago. He became a huge success in the 1980s and 90s when several of his novels were made into highly popular films, such as 'Get Shorty' and 'Jackie Brown', which was based on his novel 'Rum Punch'. From a young age Elmore Leonard has had the nickname "Dutch" - Ian Willoughby asked him why.
Reading is of course a solitary pleasure, but next week literature comes off the page here in Prague with public discussions, readings and signings - all part of the city's annual writers' festival. Among the world-renowned authors taking part is the highly successful US crime writer Elmore Leonard - who you may know thanks to films such as Get Shorty and Jackie Brown . Czech authors due to participate include Jiri Grusa, who is currently the Czech Republic's ambassador to Austria, and the famous dissident writer Ludvik Vaculik. Also appearing