European Literature Night

British Library, London

10 May 2017

Contemplating European authorship in a post-Brexit context

In response to the changes faced by Europe, literature can offer new views on our identity, history and diversity. European Writers’ Tour invites you to meet some of the most exciting writers from across the channel and to share their stories and experiences.

Join us for the launch of the Tour at the British Library with a special evening with Scottish Author A. L. Kennedy and guests. She will give a keynote address reflecting on the future of European authorship in a post-Brexit context and will be joined on stage by Clemens Meyer from Germany and Francesca Melandri from Italy for a conversation chaired by Arifa Akbar.

This event will be followed by a reception.  

Arifa Akbar is deputy literary editor and arts writer at The Independent. She has been at the paper since 2001, and has previously worked as a news reporter and arts correspondent.  She has reported from countries including Pakistan and Saudi Arabia and recently wrote a report for Index on Censorship on the limitations of artistic freedom of expression in Britain. She was a judge for the Penguin Muslim writer’s awards and is a judge for the Orwell Prize’s book section in 2013.

Enjoy food and drink purchased from the Knowledge Centre Bar from 18.00 and after the event until the Bar closes at 22.00.


  • A L Kennedy (United Kingdom)
  • Clemens Meyer (Germany)
  • Francesca Melandri (Italy)

Wednesday 10 May, from 7pm to 9.30pm

British Library, Knowledge Centre  

96 Euston Rd  London NW1 2DB

Full Price: £12.00, Member: £8.00, Under 18: £8.00


With the support of the Goethe-Institut and the Italian Cultural Institute.

A L Kennedy

A L Kennedy was born in Dundee in 1965. She is the author of 17 books: six literary novels, one science fiction novel, seven short story collections and three works of non-fiction, including Serious Sweet, Day and The Blue Book. She is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts, a Fellow of the Royal Society of Literature and was twice included in the Granta Best of Young British Novelists list. Her prose is published in a number of languages. She has won awards including the 2007 Costa Book Award and the Austrian State Prize for International Literature. She is also a dramatist for the stage, radio, TV and film. She is an essayist and regularly reads her work on BBC radio. She occasionally writes and performs one-person shows. She writes for a number of UK and overseas publications and for The Guardian Online.

A L Kennedy

Clemens Meyer

Clemens Meyer was born in Halle in 1977 and lives in Leipzig. His debut novel, Als wir träumten (As We Were Dreaming) appeared in 2006 and was followed by Die Nacht, die Lichter (All The Lights) (2008), Gewalten. Ein Tagebuch (Acts of Violence) (2010), and his 2013 novel Im Stein (In The Rock). Clemens Meyer has been awarded numerous literary prizes for his work, including the 2008 Leipzig Book Fair Prize. Im Stein was shortlisted for the 2013 Deutschen Buchpreis and awarded the Bremen Literaturpreis. Als wir träumten (As We Were Dreaming) was adapted for film in 2015 by Andreas Dresen and featured at the Berlinale film festival.

Clemens Meyer

Francesca Melandri

Francesca Melandri was born in Rome in 1964. She started writing very young, working first as a screenwriter, and has worked on films and television series, as well as a number of prize winning documentaries. In 2010 she published her first novel, Eva dorme (Eva Sleeps), set in the border regions of Northern Italy and Austria, a sweeping story about family, forgiveness, conflict and the search for truth. The novel, which won several literary prizes in 2010 and 2011, has been translated in German, Dutch, French and English. Her second novel, Più alto del mare, was published in 2012 and it has also won several literary prizes.

Francesca Melandri