PesText Literary Festival Returns to Budapest

In Budapest

Organized by the Hungarian Literary Authors’ Rights Defenders and Rights Management Association (MISzJE), the PesText Spring 2024 Festival will be held on April 26 and 27 at the Három Holló pub in Piarista köz 1, District V, with a series of conversations with six international authors.

The authors present will include Giulia Caminito, speaking with Zsófia Czakó, David Machado (speaking with Bálint Urbán), Oya Baydar (with Éva Bánki), Davide Calì (with Dávid Szél), Luca Novelli (with Krisztián Puskár), and Milo Van Bokkum (in conversation with Péter Szűcs).

Many of these authors write about political and social issues with works ranging from comic books to nonfiction to novels, increasing the diversity of the festival beyond the mere nationalities of those involved. The books of all the featured writers can be bought via PesText’s Facebook page.

Portuguese novelist Machado’s “Average Happiness Index” was a winner of the European Union Literary Prize in 2015 and is renowned for its humor and drama. Shifting toward a discussion of anxieties and social injustice, Italian writer Caminito’s “The Water of the Lake is Never Sweet” follows the narrator’s internal world as they experience their coming-of-age.

As someone who experienced the ending of socialist movements and has participated in activism for a significant portion of her life, Baydar remains a relevant and popular writer in her home country, Turkey, and internationally. She will discuss her latest translated novel “The Lost World.”

Swiss-Italian Calì’s recently translated works, including “Votez le Loup” (“Vote for the Wolf”) tackle similar themes. Although Calí targets a younger audience, mature topics such as war and political engagement mean his featured works can appeal to older audiences as well. Similar themes appear in the book “Border Regions. Why Borders are Where They Are” by Dutch writer Bokkum, as it explores the impact of borders on countries.

The PesText International Literary and Cultural Festival was launched in 2019 by MISzJE and the Petőfi Cultural Agency. PesText aims to show how the literary works of different languages and cultures can appear in the reading experiences of another country or nation. All its programs are free. Follow the festival on social media for further details.

This article was first published in the Budapest Business Journal print issue of April 19, 2024.

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