Two captivating authors share a country, and a concern with how human experience and history creates a sense of place.
Esther Kinsky was born in Germany and Kirsty Bell has chosen to make it her home. In this way, they share a country but they offer their readers multiple perspectives on what it means to belong. In Kinsky’s Grove, set across the landscapes and timescapes of Italy, an unnamed narrator struggles to cope with new grief. In her previous work, River, a German exiled in London finds solace in the quiet backwaters of the River Lea.
Kirsty Bell’s The Undercurrents is a story of Berlin, fusing memoir and criticism through a succession of lives and experiences grounded in one historic building by the Landwehr Canal. Expressed in their poetic work, and articulated in their conversation here, layers of history and the centrality of landscape to the human soul will be revealed.
The event will be chaired by critic Helen Meany.
Esther Kinsky is a literary translator and the author of three volumes of poetry and four novels. She grew up by the river Rhine.
Kirsty Bell is a British-American writer and art critic, a prolific figure in contemporary art production. She lives in Berlin.
‘This is a sublime book, born of profound, empathetic understanding’ – Declan O’Driscoll, Irish Times on Grove
‘As in other classics of urban discovery, the personal becomes universal, and the past that demands to live in the present is revealed like a shining new reef. As we return, time and again, to the solitary figure at the window’— Iain Sinclair on The Undercurrents
Presented in association with the Goethe Institut in Ireland.