Jean-Philippe Blondel, Pedro Carmona-Alvarez, Jonas Karlsson, and Kjersti Annesdatter Skomsvold, moderated by Michael Holtmann
It’s human nature — the past is always waiting to ambush us even as time hurtles us toward future unknowns. The four international novelists participating in this discussion will describe how they exploit this universal truth while fleshing out their fictional characters, setting up scenes, and plotting their stories.
Jean-Philippe Blondel was born in 1964 in Troyes, France, where he lives as an author and English teacher. His novel "The 6:41 to Paris" has been a bestseller in both France and Germany. Library Journal reviewed the novel as "Perfectly written and a remarkably suspenseful read ... an absorbing, intriguing, insightful book for all readers."
Writer, musician, and translator Pedro Carmona-Alvarez's first collection of poems, "Helter" ("Heroes"), was followed by four volumes of poetry and three novels. His latest book, "The Weather Changed, Summer Came, and So On" won the Norwegian National Radio Award for best novel in 2012. He was born in Chile and has lived in Norway since the age of 11. Carmona-Alvarez releases his music under the name of Moonpedro and The Sinking Ship.
Michael Holtmann is the director of the Center for the Art of Translation and Two Lines Press in San Francisco, California. Prior to joining the Center, he held positions at the National Endowment for the Arts, where he oversaw national literature initiatives, and the Folger Shakespeare Library, home to the world’s largest Shakespeare collection.
Jonas Karlsson's "The Room" was described in Booklist as "Part psychological drama documenting a disturbed man’s possible descent into madness, and part satirical take on corporate culture and the alienated workers it produces." One of Sweden’s most prominent actors, Karlsson has performed on Sweden’s premier stage and in several acclaimed feature films and television series. With an actor’s ear for the silences that endow dialogue with meaning, and a singular ability to register moods and emotions, Karlsson has blossomed into a one of Scandinavia’s finest literary authors, with two novels and three short story collections published to date.
Kjersti Annesdatter Skomsvold
Kjersti Annesdatter Skomsvold is from Oslo, Norway. She made her literary debut in 2009 with the novel "The Faster I Walk, the Smaller I Am." Nominated for the Norwegian Book Sellers' Prize, it won the Tarjei Vesaas First Book Prize (judged by The Literary Council of The Norwegian Authors' Union), and was shortlisted for the International IMPAC Dublin Literary Award 2013. The National Theatre (Oslo) will produce a play based on the novel.