European Literature Night 2021 took place on Saturday 19 June at De Balie and was livestreamed for an online audience as part of the EUNIC Netherlands programme. Trinidadian born British writer Monique Roffey was part of the programme that this year unfolded beyond one single night. Roffey was interviewed by Kristine Johanson, lecturer at the University of Amsterdam, together with Guido Snel and Margot Dijkgraaf, curators and moderators of the European Literature Night. You can now watch the full interview online at the top of this page!
European Literature Night brings together both celebrated authors and promising literary talents from all over Europe. The Night is a space for exploration, for understanding differences and recognizing similarities, reimagining ‘Europeanness’ for both authors and the audience. This year's theme was 'The Courage of the Writer', about which Roffey says:
“Settling to write a novel is an act of courage. Blind faith and trust that your own imagination and knowledge of craft will see you through to writing a story others might find fascinating too. I've done this many times. It's the only way forward. Faith, courage and lots of time."
More information about Monique Roffey
Monique Roffey is an award winning Trinidadian born British writer of novels, essays, literary journalism and a memoir. Her most recent novel, The Mermaid of Black Conch, (Peepal Tree Press) won the Costa Book of the Year Award, 2020, and was nominated for seven major awards. The film rights were sold to Dorothy Street Pictures and will be developed by Film Four. Her other Caribbean novels, The White Woman on the Green Bicycle and House of Ashes have been nominated for major awards too (Costa, Orange, Encore etc). Archipelago won the OCM Bocas Award for Caribbean Literature in 2013. Her work has been translated into several languages. She is a co-founder of Writers Rebel within Extinction Rebellion. She is a Senior Lecturer at Manchester Metropolitan University and a tutor for the National Writers Centre.