It has been a tough week; I think, for many? I found respite by immersing myself in Conrad’s Literary Festival that takes place each fall in my hometown, Krakow, Poland. It is organized by the City of Krakow, the KBF and the Tygodnik Powszechny Foundation, and it is the largest international literary event in Poland and one of the largest in Europe. This year, the festival is entirely online, and has a fantastic list of guests. This year’s theme is “Visible and the Invisible.”
You can watch all the conversations online here. Many are in English. A few highlights:
- For those of you who know French or Polish there is a wonderful and wide-ranging conversation with Adeline Dieudonne, a young Belgian writer, whose first book “The Real Life” was published in France a few years back to a wide acclaim. It is a story of a young girl growing up in a family with psychopathic and dominating father. “A fierce and poetic debut on surviving the wilderness of family life.” Here is a first sentence:
At home there are four bedrooms: one for her, one for her little brother Sam, one for her parents, and one for the carcasses.
- I also really enjoyed a conversation with Sigrid Nunez – the author of “The Friend”. The book is a moving meditation on love and friendship, grief, and the bond between a woman and her dog. Although, Nunez, herself, declares herself a cat person 🙂
- Another fascinating conversation is the one with Edgar Keret, an Israeli writer. His newest book in English is: “Fly Already”, and it is marvelous.
- To change topics, if you are interested in cancer care, public health and the world of clinical trials and innovation, listen to the conversation of Dr. Peter Attia with Dr. Vinay Prasad who is an oncologist, and he has a book out called: “Malignant.”
- “And last, but not least, an insightful article from Chris Bailey: “To become more productive, stop hustling” on the benefits of calm.
“When it comes to our productivity, calm and deliberateness matter—especially right now. In today’s anxious world, the path to greater productivity runs straight through calm.”Chris Bailey