Varujan Vosganian, the author of ground-breaking “The Book of Whispers”, in conversation with Rosie Goldsmith

05/12/2017 @ Romanian Cultural Institute, 1 Belgrave Square, SW1X8PH

As the Festive Season begins, we invite you to a literary soiree centred upon one of the most amazing Romanian literary breakthroughs in recent times. Politician-turned-author Varujan Vosganian talks about his powerful novel “The Book of Whispers”, published by Yale University Press. He is joined by Rosie Goldsmith, the eloquent suprema of European literary promotion in the UK. Translated into English by the indefatigable Alistair Ian Blyth, this internationally successful novel follows the troubled history and journey of an Armenian family from their ancestral home, through tragedy and exile, to redemption in their new home in Romania.  

“We suffer from collective amnesia, we don't learn from our past horrors. Fiction, perhaps, exists to guide us there where we have allowed our memory to fail. Through family recollections, public accounts and factual reports, Varujan Vosganian has built an extraordinary novel that is also a memory machine. After reading “The Book of Whispers” we can no longer deny this shameful chapter of our common past.”— writer Alberto Manguel, author of “The Library at Night”

Varujan Vosganian, senator, former minister and author, is a graduate of the Faculty of Commerce of the Academy of Economic Studies and of the Faculty of Mathematics of Bucharest University. He has a Ph.D. in Economics, and is founder of the Romanian Society for Economics and an International Adviser to the European Union’s Centre for Political Studies in Brussels. He is President of the Union of Armenians in Romania and Vice President of the Romanian Writers’ Union. Besides various theoretical works, mainly on economic subjects, he has published three volumes of poetry - „Şamanul albastru” (“The Blue Shaman”) (1994), „Ochiul alb al reginei” (“The White Eye of the Queen”) (2001), „Iisus cu o mie de braţe” (“Jesus with a Thousand Arms”) (2004) and „Cartea poemelor mele nescrise” (“The Book of my Unwritten Poems”) (2015); two novels - „Cartea şoaptelor” (“The Book of Whispers”) (2009, 2012) and „Copiii războiului” (“The Children of War”) (2016), as well as two volumes of short stories - „Statuia Comandorului” (“The Statue of Commander”) (1994), awarded the Prize of the Bucharest Writers’ Association, and „Jocul celor o sută de frunze şi alte povestiri”  (”The Game of Hundred Leaves and Other Stories”) (2013). His novel, “The Book of Whispers”, widely translated, was greeted as a revelation by the Romanian critics and brought him international acclaim and a Nobel Prize nomination.

Rosie Goldsmith is an award-winning journalist specializing in arts and current affairs, in the UK and abroad. In 20 years at the BBC she travelled the world and presented flagship BBC programmes Front Row and Crossing Continents. Rosie speaks French, German and Italian and has lived in Germany, Africa and the USA. Today she combines journalism with chairing and running events and festivals in Britain and overseas and works closely with many leading cultural organisations.  Known in the UK as a champion of international literature, translation and language learning, she promotes them whenever she can. She is also Director of the European Literature Network, Chair of the Judges for the EBRD Literature Prize & editor of The Riveter magazine.

When: Tuesday 5 December, 7 pm
Where: Romanian Cultural Institute, 1 Belgrave Square, London SW1X8PH

Admission is free, but places are limited. Please confirm your attendance on Eventbrite.

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