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  • irishtimes.com - Posted: March 5, 2013 @ 1:32 pm

    It’s a conspiracy! Dan Brown at the Dublin Writers Festival

    Laurence Mackin

    In something of a star turn for the Dublin Writers Festival, Dan Brown will be marking the publication of his new novel Inferno with an appearance at the National Concert Hall in May.

    The author of The Da Vinci Code, Angels and Demons and Digital Fortress has variously been described as saving the publishing industry, destroying the Catholic Church, fuelling a boom in tourism to Paris and Rome, and being part of a shadowy cabal of terrible writers bent on destroying our reading standards.

    Dan Brown being Plotty McPlotterson

    Either way, it’s a heavyweight name on the festival, so cardinals’ hats off to the organisers. The festival takes place from May 20th to 26th, with further details yet to be released.

    Elsewhere in the publishing world, The Independent Foreign Fiction Prize has released it’s longlist for 2013 (the prize is given out in May.) The list is:

    A Death In the Family
    by Karl Ove Knausgaard
    The Detour by Gerbrand Bakker
    HHhH by Laurence Binet
    The Sound of Things Falling by Juan Gabriel Vásquez
    The Last of the Vostyachs by Diego Marani
    Cold Sea Stories by Pawel Huelle
    The Fall of the Stone City by Ismail Kadare
    Black Bazaar by Alain Mabanckou
    Bundu by Chris Barnard
    Dublinesque by Enrique Vila-Matas
    In Praise of Hatred by Khalid Khalifa
    The Murder of Halland by Pia Juul
    Satantango by Laszlo Krasznahorkai
    Silent House by Orhan Pamuk
    Traveller of the Century by Andrés Neuman
    Trieste by Daša Drndić

    I’ve only read a handful, but I would imagine the early favourites to be Laurent Binet’s HHhH, In Praise of Hatred by Khalid Khalifa (which is banned in the author’s native Syria), and it’s hard to argue against anything by Ismail Kadare or Orhan Pamuk (who won the inaugural prize in 1990).

    Here’s my review from last year of Binet’s HHhH, and if it’s foreign fiction you’re into, Dalkey Archive Press’s Best European Fiction 2013 is well worth a punt. It’s a glittering array of talent (with admittedly a few duff notes), packed with strange turns in unfamiliar countries. Here’s my review from the Irish Times’ Arts & Books section at the weekend.

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