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Tragic Fates: New Fiction from Central and Eastern Europe

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UCL School of Slavonic and East European Studies

16 Taviton Street

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WC1H 0BW

United Kingdom

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Venue: Masaryk Senior Common Room, SSEES, University College London, 16 Taviton St, Bloomsbury, London WC1H 0BW

Authors Uršuľa Kovalyk (Slovakia) & Dana Todorović (Serbia) join Lucy Popescu in conversation about contemporary fiction in Eastern Europe. Come and join us in celebrating some of the best new fiction from Eastern Europe to be published in the UK.

Dana Todorović is a novelist living in Belgrade. She is half-Serbian, half-American, and although she was educated mainly in the US and UK, she prefers to write in Serbian. Her debut novel, Tragična sudbina Morica Tota (The Tragic Fate of Moritz Tot) was shortlisted for the Branko Ćopić prize for best novel, awarded annually by the Serbian Academy of Sciences and Arts, and was also listed as one of the top novels of the year by the NIN weekly and the daily Politika. Her second novel Park Logovskoj was shortlisted for several major literary awards, including the prestigious NIN award. Both novels were also published in Germany. In addition, she is the author of two children's books, as well as several short stories that have appeared in various magazines and anthologies.

She has extensive experience working as a translator, particularly in the field of theatre and film (translating plays and screenplays) and spent six years working as an interpreter for the UN.

Dana comes from a family of actors. Having studied drama herself at university, she also had acting roles in a number of movies of the former Yugoslavia.

Uršuľa Kovalyk is a poet, fiction writer, playwright and social worker. She was born in 1969 in Košice, eastern Slovakia and currently lives in the capital, Bratislava. She has worked for a women’s non-profit focusing on women’s rights and currently works for the NGO Against the Current, which helps homeless people. She is the director of the Theatre With No Home, which features homeless and disabled actors.
Uršuľa Kovalyk’s plays include Vec (The Thing, 2003), Maková panna (The Poppy Seed Spinster, 2004), Krvavý kľúč (The Bloodied Key 2005), Oktagon (Octagon, 2006), Dia de muertos (2008) and Squat (2009). She has published two collections of short stories, Neverné ženy neznášajú vajíčka (Unfaithful Women Lay No Eggs, 2002) and Travesty šou (Travesty Show 2004), and a novel, Žena zo sekáča (The Second-hand Woman 2008). Her latest novel, Krasojazdkyňa (The Equestrienne), published in 2013, was shortlisted for Slovakia’s most prestigious Anasoft Litera Award and received the Bibliotéka Prize for 2013.

Lucy Popescu is a writer, editor and arts critic with a background in human rights. She worked with the English Centre of PEN, the international association of writers, for over 20 years and was Director of its Writers in Prison Committee from 1991 to 2006. She compiled and edited A Country of Refuge, an anthology of writing on asylum seekers by some of Britain and Ireland’s finest writers, published by Unbound in 2016. Lucy is a volunteer writing mentor for Write to Life, the creative writing group at Freedom from Torture. She edited refugee writer Jade Jackson’s collection Moving a Country and the Write to Life anthology, Body Maps. The Good Tourist, her book about human rights and ethical travel, was published by Arcadia Books. She co-edited the PEN anthology Another Sky (Profile Books) featuring the work of writers that PEN has helped over the last 40 years. She was Granada’s youngest published author in 1982 with Pony Holiday Book. Lucy reviews books, theatre and film and contributes to various publications including TheIndependent, Independent on Sunday,The Financial Times, TLS, The Literary Review, New Humanist and Huffington Post. She has a particular interest in literary fiction in translation and free expression. She sat on the Spanish New Books Panel in 2013 and the 2016 judging panel for The Saif Ghobash Banipal Prize for Arabic Literary Translation. She is the chair of the Authors’ Club Best First Novel Award. Lucy currently teaches creative writing at the Working Men’s College in Camden, curates literary evenings at Waterstones Piccadilly and is a Trustee of the JMK Award for Theatre Directors. She is currently crowdfunding for her next anthology, A Country to Call Home , focusing on the experiences of young refugees and featuring the work of some of our best loved children’s authors.

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UCL School of Slavonic and East European Studies

16 Taviton Street

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WC1H 0BW

United Kingdom

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