Arundhati Roy opens the 9th international literature festival berlin on 9 September 2009

15 June 2009

This year, the 9th international literature festival berlin (ilb) will be opened with a talk by Arundhati Roy in the Haus der Berliner Festspiele. As one of the world’s most prestigious literature festivals, the ilb will attract 140 writers from 50 countries to the German capital from 9 - 19 September. In previous years, the festival’s readings, author’s talks, political debates and concerts have attracted as many as 34,000 visitors. Prose, poetry, children’s and youth literature, and film showings: the ilb is a living, multi-lingual forum for literature fans. Amazing writers little known to German audiences will give readings and talks alongside world-renowned literary greats. A complete listing of authors appearing at the festival is available at This year, the focus of the programme will be the Arab World. Given the current public debate on Islamic terrorism, the Israeli-Palestinian conflict and the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, the festival would like build a bridge between East and West. Through literature, the ilb wants to open up Arab culture to the public, promote mutual understanding and initiate dialogue. The festival aims to set a stage in Berlin where the audience can share its views on spirituality, culture and politics. A literary retrospective will present important Arab writers on the one hand and, on the other hand, consider significant works of world literature that are concerned with the Arab world from Aitmatov to Voltaire. Through talks and panel discussions, international experts, writers and journalists will explore social, political and cultural issues affecting the Arab world. Particular attention will he paid to discussions within the Arab world, such as those found in literary magazines, blogs and Arab criticism. Which are the questions that move the Arab world? The festival seeks answers. Traditionally, the international literature festival berlin is a wide forum for children’s and youth literature. Some 10,000 young readers flock to the festival every year, with school groups listening to authors’ readings. This year, the festival is proud to welcome Tamara Bach, Jutta Bauer, Martin Baltscheit and Klaus Kordon among others. Since so few children’s books from the Arab world are published in Germany, new translations and presentations given by authors and illustrators will be employed to fill this gap. Nadine Touma, who works in Beirut as an artist, writer, publisher and human rights activist, is coming to Berlin with this purpose in mind. Date, venues and contact information: 9 - 19 September 2009 Haus der Berliner Festspiele Schaperstr. 24 10719 Berlin Germany other venues: Kino Babylon and Collegium Hungaricum, venues of cooperating partners. The complete programme will be available from 26 August 2009. In the coming weeks, regular updates of the programme can be found at Online ticket sales for the first events have already opened at: