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Slovenia's main book festival produced by the Beletrina Publishing House in collaboration with Cankarjev dom, the Fabula Literary Festival brings together world-class authors. Running since 2003, the festival has hosted some of the biggest names in literature, including Herta Müller, Irvine Welsh, Jonathan Franzen, Hanif Kureishi, David Grossman, Janice Galloway, Richard Flanagan, Taiye Selasi, Tatyana Tolstaya, Eric Vuillard, Rachel Cusk, Deborah Levy, Jokha Alharthi, Bernhard Schlink. The concept of the festival, which has evolved over the years, is today based on well-considered curatorship. Each year, the festival aims to select five writers, both established and up-and-coming literary names. The Fabula Hub devotes attention to promising, up-and-coming authors.
The Festival’s programme, focused on hosting top international writers, translating their works into Slovenian and establishing live contact between international literature and Slovenian audiences, also raises topical socio-critical issues and addresses contemporary challenges. In addition to the literary programme, the festival also features a theoretical focus addressing a relevant social issue every year. So far, the theoretical focus has hosted a variety of distinguished guests, including Slavoj Žižek, Terry Eagleton, Chantal Mouffe, Eva Illouz, Jean-Claude Milner, Patrick Boucheron and Umberto Galimberti.
The Fabula Festival also features an extremely diversified accompanying programme aimed at reading audiences of all ages and ranging from children's and youth programmes (Young Fabula), interactive literary installations in public spaces (Fabula Polis), collaborations with Slovenian publishers and booksellers (Fabula’s Selection) genre-blending of literature, theatre and other genres (Fabula Beyond Literature) to projects establishing the festival as an incubator of new literary ideas and future literary orientations (Fabula Hub).
In 2023, the festival addresses the lapse of time, what we can (and what we have not) learnt from experience – how the shadows of yesterday affect our present and what kind of knowledge they provide for our future. The festival's slogan memory (re)construction brings together internationally established names that have garnered widespread recognition as some of the best writers today.
The festival opens in early March at Cankarjev dom with a world-renowned Ukrainian author Oksana Zabuzhko and her novel Fieldwork in Ukrainian Sex. Romanian writer Tatiana Tîbuleac is coming to Slovenian with The Glass Garden, a novel underscoring the issues of history and politics. Galveias by the celebrated Portuguese writer José Luís Peixoto abounds in poignant political reflection. A sense of entrapment, of crisis and decay, and human or social anomalies are some of the key elements in Satantango, an iconic novel by the Hungarian writer Lászlo Krasznahorkai.
We will journey through the past, present, reality and imagination with the British writer Bernardine Evaristo and her work Manifesto: On Never Giving Up. Both unconventional memoir and inspirational text, Manifesto is a unique reminder to us all to persist in doing work we believe in, even when we might feel overlooked or discounted. The Fabula Hub hosts one of the most promising young Spanish authors, Cristina Morales, focusing on her debut novel Los combatientes (English: The Fighters).
The Festival’s programme, focused on hosting top international writers, translating their works into Slovenian and establishing live contact between international literature and Slovenian audiences, also raises topical socio-critical issues and addresses contemporary challenges.