Polish authors at the Edinburgh International Book Festival

Wioletta Greg & Édouard Louis, Kasia Matyjaszek, Filip Springer, and Olga Tokarczuk & Marcel Theroux



Edinburgh International Book Festival
13-25 August 
Charlotte Square, Edinburgh 
Various Venues

Celebrate the August festival season at the beautiful Charlotte Square in Edinburgh and meet Polish authors Wioletta GregKasia MatyjaszekOlga Tokarczuk, and Filip Springer taking part in one of the world's largest and most mind-stimulating literary events, the Edinburgh International Book Festival.

Together with its counterparts, the International Festival, the Jazz Festival, the Fringe, the Art Festival, the Film Festival, the Edinburgh International Book Festival forms what is now widely regarded as the biggest and best arts festival in the world.

Filip Springer

Sunday 13 August, 6:30-7:30pm
Writers’ Retreat

Journalist and photographer, Filip Springer’s award-winning History of a Disappearance is the fascinating story of a Polish mining town that, after seven centuries of history, disappeared through environmental degradation and neglect. Springer tells us how he rediscovered the town, documenting its lost inhabitants, memories and stories. In doing so, he has encapsulated the history of our times. Chaired by Daniel Hahn.


Wioletta Greg & Édouard Louis

Monday 14 August, 5:45-6:45pm
Garden Theatre

Polish poet Wioletta Greg has turned her talents to fiction to produce her debut novel Swallowing Mercury,  longlisted to the 2017 Man Booker International Prize. It’s a coming of age tale set in Communist Poland which examines the fine texture of a close- knit community on the cusp of change. Édouard Louispresents The End of Eddy, an autobiographical novel about growing up gay in the poverty and homophobia of rural France. Meet two novelists who brilliantly explore the world at the margins. Chaired by Nick Barley.


Kasia Matyjaszek

Monday 21 August, 10am
Story Box

Start your day with a magical trip into the world of words with one of our Festival authors. Stories, poems, songs or rhymes may feature in this free event suitable for children of all ages.


Marcel Theroux & Olga Tokarczuk

Friday 25 August, 5-6pm
Writers’ Retreat
£8/£6, book online

Nobel Prize for Literature winner Svetlana Alexievich called Olga Tokarczuk 'a magnificent writer'. Today, Tokarczuk is here with Flights, which was awarded Poland's biggest literary prize. It's a novel about human anatomy and travel in the 21st century, focusing on the very core of humankind. British author and broadcaster Marcel Theroux's The Secret Books is a meditation on belief and the stories that humans are prepared to die for.


All events supported by the Polish Cultural Institute in London



Kasia Matyjaszek 
is a freelance illustrator, living and working in Edinburgh. A picture book she created for her final degree show in Edinburgh College of Art was highly commended in the Macmillan Book Prize. In 2013 she took part in the Picture Hooks scheme and, together with other finalists, exhibited her work in The Scottish National Gallery. In 2015 her picture book was highly commended in Clairvoyants international competition. She also works teaching illustration evening courses at Edinburgh College of Art and leading art workshops for children.

Wioletta Grzegorzewska / Wioletta Greg is a Polish writer, born in a small village in 1974 in Jurassic Highland in Poland. She moved to the UK in 2006. Greg's short stories and poems have been published in: Asymptote, The Guardian, Litro Magazine, Poetry Wales, Wasafiri, The White Review. Her poetry book Finite Formulae & Theories of Chance (tr. Marek Kazmierski, Arc Publications 2014) has been shortlisted for the 2015 Griffin Poetry Prize. Her debut novel Swallowing Mercury (tr. Eliza Marciniak, Portobello Books 2017) has been longlisted for the 2017 Man Booker International Prize. Her works have been translated into English, Catalan, French, Spanish and Welsh. 

Filip Springer (born 1982) is a self-taught journalist who has been working as a reporter and photographer since 2006. His journalistic debut History of a Disappearance: The Story of a Forgotten Polish Town (tr. Sean Bye, Restless Books 2017) was shortlisted for the Ryszard Kapuscinski Literary Reportage Prize in 2011 and nominated for the Gdynia Literary Prize in 2012. He was also shortlisted for the Nike Literary Prize in 2012 and winner of the third annual Ryszard Kapuscinski fellows contest for young journalists.

Olga Tokarczuk is one of Poland’s best and most beloved authors. In 2015 she received the Brueckepreis and the prestigious annual literary award from Poland's Ministry of Culture and National Heritage, as well as Poland’s highest literary honour, the Nike and the Nike Readers' Prize. Tokarczuk also received a Nike in 2009 for Flights. She is the author of eight novels and two short story collections and has been translated into a dozen languages. She is currently promoting her most recent book in English, Flights (tr. Jennifer Croft, Fitzcarraldo Editions 2017).

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