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European Literature Days 2022

Initiated by Goethe-Institut, Institut Francais, the Wallonie-Bruxelles Delegation (of Belgium), Embassies of the Czech Republic, Hungary, Italy, Spain, and the British Council in cooperation with the Delegation of the European Union to Vietnam – supported by Publishing Houses Hanoi. Special guest: Embassy of the Ukraine.

Every year on 9th May, Europe celebrates peace and unity in Europe. The date marks the anniversary of the historic ‘Schuman declaration’ that set out the idea for a new form of political cooperation in Europe, which aimed to make war between Europe’s nations unthinkable. Schuman’s proposal is considered to be the beginning of what is now the European Union.

In Hanoi, Europe Day has in recent years been regularly celebrated by a number of activities. After two years of a pandemic pause, this year European diplomatic representations and cultural institutes are welcoming back the Hanoi public to their writers. The public is invited to learn and enjoy new books for children, youth, parents, grand-parents, teachers, intellectuals. There is a lot to be seen, heard and read from Europe through books and films in particular.

The European Literature Days 2022 will take place in Hanoi from May 5th to 15th. The European Film Festival will take place May 19th – June 5th in four cities across the countries, followed by the Vietnamese European Documentary Film festival in June. Each festival will offer highlights from Europe and interaction with the audience.

The European Literature will be presented through literary translations from Belgium (Wallonie-Bruxelles), Czech Republic, England, France, Germany, Hungary, Italy, Spain, and for the first time – Ukraine. The places where you can experience the writings are Casa
Italia and the Goethe-Institut, and Nhã Nam Book & Coffee on Nguyễn Quý Đức.

Vietnamese writers will also be invited onto the stage of the European Literature Days to introduce their latest poems and prose to curious readership. As always, European Literature Days are a market place, a platform for cultural exchange, and a fun place to be. Cultural exchange between Vietnam and Europe, new creative products from Europe in excellent translations are at the heart of the festival.

The festival will be opened simultaneously on May 5 at Casa Italia and at the Goethe-Institut. The Embassy of Ukraine is a special guest to both the Literature Days and the Film Festival 2022. Ukraine will be launching the anthology of Ukrainian and world poems, translated and produced for the 30 years anniversary of Vietnamese-Ukrainian diplomatic relations.

Europe Day will be celebrated with two Czech anti-war novels: “The Fate of the Good Soldier Švejk during the World War” by Jaroslav Hašek and “Money from Hitler” by Radka Denemarková. A classic in European literature, and timely food for thought in these challenging times.

The European Literature Days offer valuable literature for everyone. Here are some examples. Children books from Europe have a long
tradition on the Vietnamese book market. They are beautifully designed, take their audience seriously, and carry them into different worlds through exciting stories and colorful illustrations. Highlights in this year are children’s books by immensely popular Saigon-based Belgian writer ECO (Eddy Coubeaux), and short stories by the Italian award winning Gianni Rodari, who is considered as Italy’s most important 20th-century children’s author. His Telephone Tales were first published in 1962, this is the second edition in Vietnamese, reviewed and illustrated. For naughty children and their open-minded parents and grandparents, there is plenty of British humor in David Walliams‘ The boy in the dress.

The world is changing. Growing up today is different from being a child thirty years ago. We all have become more aware about the
challenges around us, of climate change in particular. So, our Children are growing up with a sharper awareness of a shared responsibility for life on the blue planet Earth. The Spanish lovely collection of books “Chăm sóc hành tinh của chúng mình” (Cuidemos el planeta) introduces children to Energy, Water, Waste, Air, Species in danger, Natural Disasters, Soil degradation, and Deforestation with a contemporary view a gentle and close approach to children, cute illustrations with familiar pencil strokes and warm colors. For young readers from the age of 8, there are new titles from the renowned series Was ist Was. The title stands for child-friendly preparation of STEM knowledge about a variety of topics. The books are characterized by understandable and lively texts, a colorful layout and large-format, impressive pictures.

You do not have to be a trained philosopher to think about the meaning of life, about how everything began and how things will end in our life. But you may want to get some inspiration from philosophers who have posed similar questions and have offered their answers. This year you may want to learn more from French philosopher Michael Serres about children and youth facing the challenges of the technological age. Or you may want to go back to the roots of modern philosophy with Germany’s Immanuel Kant. For questions of today about gender, and the role of women in a patriarchal society, you may want to meet (online) Judith Butler during the presentation of her thoughts about that famous Greek woman Antigone and the relevance of that heroine for our contemporary life.

Readers will also meet authors of novels from Czech Republic, France, Germany, Hungary, and Italy, some of them very popular and with a readership in Vietnam. From France Delphine de Vigan will present her psychological detective novel “D’après une
histoire vraie” at Nha Nam bookstore. From Germany internationally acclaimed lawyer-became-writer Bernhard Schlink who has gained a loyal readership in Vietnam will be present with his latest short stories. He will be followed by another lawyer-became-writer
Ferdinand von Schirach. His book will introduce the Vietnamese audience to the European legal and value system in an entertaining and often thrilling way as no writer before has ever achieved. A new name for the international bookmarket is German Viet-Kieu Mrs. Khue Pham. She will be introduced through an excellent translation of an excerpt from her book to the Vietnamese readership by ZZZ
Review. Last but least we expect online the recipient of the famous German Book Prize and visiting writer to Vietnam in 2018, Julia Franck.

The Casa Italia Hanoi is not only famous for Italian products but welcomes back the Hanoi audience to experience great and mysterious authors, Elena Ferrante. Nobody knows the true face of this supposedly female writer behind her pseudonym.

European classics from the 19th century will be re-introduced to the Vietnamese public: Gustav Flaubert‘s (France) Education Sentimentale, Vamba’s (Italy) Diary of Hurricane Johnny will be presented in a fresh and young Vietnamese language from the Italian original. Another new name for the Vietnamese audience will be the forever young and inspiring German writer Georg Büchner. The presentation of his Woyzeck will be a scenic reading with actors and actresses from the Youth Theater.

Essays about digitalization will be presented by the Social Life Institute HCM. It is one of the topics of our time: digitization as the
game changer in work and life. The Anthology Hiểu về Xã hội kỹ thuật số (Digital Society) will comprise translated texts by ten sociologists from England, France, Germany and world-famous scholar and presently Minister of Universities Manuel Castells from Spain.

A round-table on Nobel Prize winner’s Kazuo Ishiguro will be held by Nhã Nam publishing and the British Council. This event will be joined by the translators and open a discussion on what is hidden in the ambiguities in Ishiguro’s works.


The Embassy of Italy in Hanoi joins the European Literature Days 2022 with the launch of 3 new translations of Italian books in Vietnamese:

* Thursday 5/5 at 17:00 at Casa Italia *

The diary of Hurricane Johnny” by Vamba, in collaboration with the Italian Department of the Hanoi University

* Saturday 7/5 at 9:30 at Casa Italia *

Telephone tales” by Gianni Rodari, in collaboration with Kim Dong publishing house

* Saturday 14/5 at 9:30 at Casa Italia *

My brilliant friend” by Elena Ferrante, in collaboration with Nha Nam publishing house

(events only in Vietnamese)

All info at:


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