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Europa at FILL - Festival of Italian Literature in London

Long live the European novel

Sunday 28 October, 16:45, Coronet Theatre – Auditorium. £ 5

The old good European novel used to be full of cosmopolitan and experimental characters, obsessed with Mitteleuropa and exile. Things have changed quite a bit, so what’s the European novel in the age of Brexit and deaths at sea in the Mediterranean? In this extraordinary panel discussion, two major award-winning writers discuss how the tradition of the European novel can still try to establish a new canon in the face of political turmoil, investigating the bleeding edges of Europe and switching the focus onto neglected geographies and voices.

This event will be in English and partly in Italian with English translation provided.

Running time: 80 minutes.


Nicola Lagioia is one of Italy’s most critically acclaimed contemporary novelists, a contributor to the most prominent Italian culture pages, and the programme director of the Turin International Book Fair. His novel Ferocity (published in English by Europa Editions) won the Strega Prize in 2015.

Mathias Énard with his novel Compass won the 2015 Prix Goncourt, the 2017 Leipziger Book Award for European Understanding, and was shortlisted for the 2017 Man Booker International Prize. His books are published in UK by Fitzcarraldo. His new book translated in English, Tell Them of Battles, Kings, and Elephants, is due in November 2018.

Chair: Catherine Taylor is the former deputy director of English PEN, and a literary critic and editor currently contributing to Guardian Review, New Statesman, FT Life & Arts, the TLS and the Irish Times.

My brilliant novels… and TV series

Sunday 28 October, 19:00, Coronet Theatre – Auditorium. £ 5

Novel and TV series: the debate on the relationship between these two intertwined forms of fiction is revived by an upcoming new HBO-Rai drama, based on Elena Ferrante’s My Brilliant Friend and her other Neapolitan Novels. We celebrate the upcoming international release of the series with a stage reading from Ferrante’s work, followed by a conversation with special guests on how Ferrante’s work has helped reshape the literary geography of our times. After resonating with the conscience of a global readership, her work is now poised to find yet another new audience on the world’s screens.

This event will be in English and partly in Italian with English translation provided.

Running time: 80 minutes.


Eva Ferri is the Publishing Director at Edizioni e/o, the Italian independent publishing house behind the global success of Elena Ferrante’s books. She is also the acquiring editor of foreign fiction for Europa Editions, sister company of Edizioni e/o. She studied Philosophy and Public Policy at the London School of Economics, and Jungian Psychoanalysis in Milan.

Lisa Appignanesi is a writer, novelist, and the Chair of the Royal Society of Literature. She has been Deputy Director of London’s Institute of Contemporary Arts, and has produced various films for television. Her latest book is Everyday Madness: On Grief, Anger, Loss and Love (Harper Collins, 2018).

Reading by: Haydn Gwynne is an actress. She was nominated for the BAFTA TV Award for Best Light Entertainment Performance for the comedy series Drop the Dead Donkey, and won the 2009 Drama Desk Award for Outstanding Featured Actress in a Musical for her role in the Broadway production of Billy Elliot the Musical. Her other television roles include Peak Practice, Merseybeat, and The Windsors.

Chair: Marco Mancassola is a London-based author and the director of FILL.

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