A typewriter and a couple of anniversary books

Bogdan Cristel

Our literature projects promote British literature in Romania and encourage the audiences to read and become familiar with contemporary British works, with the support of local publishing houses.

Every year we lead or join a series of events dedicated to literature; whether it is the Bucharest International Literature Festival or the European Month of Literature, we always make a strong case when it comes to writers from the UK and actively encourage the public to discuss the issues raised by literary texts. We also bring our public closer to literary canons through creative activities and initiatives or projects in the likeness of Shakespeare Lives or Dickens 2012. 

Find out more below about our literature projects and the British authors that have visited us.

Hogarth Shakespeare Project - part of the Shakespeare Year

The Hogarth Shakespeare Project was launched in the United Kingdom in 2015, 400 years after Shakespeare’s death, and was continued by publishers from over 28 countries. For Romania, the publishing house is Humanitas Fiction and the series is coordinated by Denisa Comănescu. Launched at the initiative of British publishing house Hogarth, the Hogarth Shakespeare series proposes the review of Shakespearean masterpieces by some of the best-known contemporary writers, re-imagining them for the 21st century. The authors involved in the project and their novels featuring reimagined Shakespeare plays are: Jeanette Winterson - The Gap of Time, Howard Jacobson - Merchant of Venice, Anne Tyler - The Taming of the Shrew, Margaret Atwood - The Tempest, Tracy Chevalier - Othello, Edward St Aubyn - King Lear, Jo Nesbø - Macbeth, Gillian Flynn - Hamlet.

British Council has supported this project from the very beginning, being actively involved in the launches and promotion of the volumes included in the series and in the events organized following the start of the project. One of these events was the visit of the famous writer Howard Jacobson to Romania.

This series was part of Shakespeare Lives, a year-long global programme of events and activities celebrating William Shakespeare’s work on the 400th anniversary of his death in 2016. The programme was run by the British Council and the GREAT Britain campaign and celebrated Shakespeare as a playwright for all people and all nations. More than 140 countries took part in the festivities, with people experiencing Shakespeare through film screenings, exhibitions, performances and in schools, alongside a programme of unique online collaborations. You can find more details about the programme on our Shakespeare Lives page

European Literature Month

European Literature Month is a European project organized by EUNIC - the European Union of National Institutes of Culture which held its first edition in October 2017. The event is an initiative that aims to highlight the heritage of European literature and inspire young people to (re)discover the pleasure of reading.

The program includes screenings of films - screenings of European novels, student workshops for European writers and European literary prize winners, school activities, teacher activities, online and face-to-face, teaching literature, activities for libraries on how to promote reading, an evening of urban poetry, book exchanges, literary salons and translation workshops.

European Literature Night

The European Literature Night is a European project, which started in 2009 and it is organised by EUNIC - the European Union National Institutes for Culture.

The project stems from the belief that literature is a creative instrument which enables dialogue between different cultures through a shared reading experience. Apart from this, the European Literature Night gives emerging writers an opportunity to bring literature closer to people through public readings of contemporary literature, in unconventional spaces, by public figures.

  • 2015 - We celebrated the fourth edition of the European Literature Night in an exquisite place – the Memorial Library of the “Dimitrie Leonida” National Technical Museum. Discussions and readings were based on scientific works, such as ”Brief history of time - from the Big Bang to Black Holes”, ”The Theory of Everything - The Origin and Fate of the Universe” by Stephen W. Hawking, ”River Out of Eden - A Darwinian View of Life” by Richard Dawkins (Humanitas Publishing House, 2015, 2015 and 2014) and ”Natural Philosophy” by Isaac Newton (Herald Publishing House, 2015). Our distinguished guests were Alexandru Mironov and Cristian Român, esteemed writers and science journalists.
  • 2014 - In the past few years several British writers have successfully undertaken the historical novel inspired by the dark Middle Ages and the buoyant times of the Renaissance. During the third edition of the European Literature Night, we invited you at the "I.L.Caragiale" National University of Theatre and Film to rediscover history through the novels of Hilary Mantel, winner of the Man Booker Prize for her novels describing the reign of Henry the VIII, Sarah Dunant with "Blood and Beauty: The Borgias" and Philippa Gregory, the author of an entire series dedicated to the Tudors and last, but not least, to pay homage to the most famous English ‘historian’, as in 2014 we mark the 450th anniversary of William Shakespeare. Special guests: Dr. Mihaela Irimia and Dr.Bogdan Ștefănescu - Faculty of Foreign Languages, University of Bucharest
  • 2013 - The European Literature Night returned to Bucharest on 29 May 2013 and saw cultural institutes organise events in venues which are normally off-limits to the public. People were invited to explore as many of these venues as possible, to create their very own literary journey. The events were supported by the European Culture Program. The Bucharest Stock Exchange turned into the Bucharest Literature Exchange for one night only. Actor Axel Moustache read from Jonathan Coe and Salman Rushdie. Professors Bogdan Ștefănescu, Ph.D., and Dragoș Ivana, Ph.D., from the Faculty of Foreign Languages and Literature, University of Bucharest led comments. British Council Romania prepared interactive materials and prizes for British literature readers and organised a premiere of the film 'Midnight Children',  based on Salman Rushdie's homonymous book.
  • 2012 - The 2012 edition took place in 24 cities in 20 countries and showcased contemporary literature read by personalities from different fields. The readings took place in specially selected venues. 2012 saw the first edition of the European Literature Night come to Romania. Ten cultural institutes and members of the EUNIC cluster participated. Our programme included readings from Salman Rushdie, Stephen Fry, Hilary Mantel, Ian McEwan, Julian Barnes and the brilliant presence of Bogdan Ștefănescu - professor of English Literature at the Bucharest University, Faculty of Foreign Languages, Radu Paraschivescu - writer, translator, publicist and Bogdan Șerban - DJ at Radio Guerrilla.

FILB - Bucharest International Literature Festival

We were a constant partner of the Bucharest International Literature Festival, helping Romanian readers familiarize with the work of British authors.

  • 2014 - This edition of the Bucharest International Literature Festival was, by far, one of the most diverse of all of its seven editions. The eccentricity of this edition was marked by the presence of two of Science Fiction's most interesting British voices on today's literary scene: Paul McAuley and Richard K. Morgan
  • 2013 - The 6th edition of the festival brought together distinguished authors from all over the world. British Council Romania teamed up with the organizers of this unique festival in Romania and welcomed the visit of acclaimed British writer, Sarah Dunant and thought-provoking Jamaican-born poet, Kei Miller.
  • 2012 - The 5th edition of the Bucharest International Literature Festival focused on the UK and welcomed some of today's most prominent UK authors: Jonathan Coe, Will Self and Andrew Cowan.
  • 2011 - In 2011, the 4th edition of the Bucharest International Literature Festival welcomed British writer Paul Bailey. His translated works have had great success in Romania. Paul Bailey and Mircea Cărtărescu, one of today's most important and prolific Romanian writers, held a discussion which invited questions form the public. The discussion was moderated by literary critic Marius Chivu.

Dickens 2012 - Charles Dickens Bicentenary

Dickens 2012 was an international celebration of the life and work of Charles Dickens marking the bicentenary of his birth.

Although a writer from the Victorian era, Dickens’s work transcends his time, language and culture. He remains a great contemporary influence throughout the world and his writings continue to inspire film, TV, art, literature, artists and academia.

The British Council worked with over 50 countries worldwide to coordinate an exciting range of educational and cultural events celebrating the bicentenary of Charles Dickens, the UK's most prolific and influential novelist.

The programme was complex, integrating many events such as film screenings, a competition and interactive activities for children, held at our library in Bucharest.

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