Writers in Conversation returns from 15 September

A portrait of Joshua Cohen

Writers in Conversation returns from 15 September. It is a series of public events, organised by Ca’ Foscari University of Venice and connected with the Incroci di Civiltà/Crossroads of Civilisations literary festival, featuring conversations with writers, translators, journalists, and artists, who will reflect on topical social and cultural issues. From Thursday 15 September, the student community and citizens will have the opportunity to meet key figures in contemporary literature.


The first guest will be Israeli writer Roy Chen, who will converse with Professor Dario Miccoli on Thursday 15 September. The event will be held in Italian.

Roy Chen (Tel Aviv, 1980) is a writer, translator and playwright. His father’s family arrived in Palestine in 1492 following the Spanish expulsion of Jews, while his mother’s family migrated from Morocco in the 20th century. During his youth, Roy Chen left school and taught himself Russian. Over the years he translated classical Russian literature into Hebrew, including authors such as Puškin, Gogol’, Dostoevskij, Cechov, Bunin, and Charms (among others). Aged 19, he started to work in the theatre. Since 2007 he is the in-house dramaturge of Gesher theatre in Tel-Aviv. Anime (Casa Editrice Giuntina, 2022) is his first novel to be published in Italy.


The second event is dedicated to Joshua Cohen, the winner of the 2022 Pulitzer Prize. It will be held on Thursday 22 September at 17:30 in Aula Mario Baratto, in English, with consecutive interpreting into Italian.

Joshua Cohen was born in a Jewish family in Somers Point (USA) in 1980 and was raised in Atlantic City. He studied composition at the Manhattan School of Music. Having worked as a correspondent from Eastern Europe between 2001 and 2006, he published his first novel, Cadenza for the Schneidermann Violin Concerto, in 2007. He subsequently published A Heaven of Others (2008), Wiz (2010), Book of Numbers (2015) and Moving Kings (2017). In 2017, Granta included Joshua Cohen among the best American novelists. In 2022 he was awarded the Pulitzer Prize for Fiction for his sixth novel, The Netanyahus: An Account of a Minor and Ultimately Even Negligible Episode in the History of a Very Famous Family. Joshua Cohen is a prolific essayist who has written for newspapers and magazines such as The New York Times, The London Review of Books, and The New York Observer. Between 2005 and 2008 he published five collections of essays and stories. One of the collections, Four New Messages (2012), was published in Italy in 2021.


American author Lauren Groff will speak on 26 September. The event will be conducted in English, with consecutive interpreting into Italian.

Lauren Groff was born in 1978 in Cooperstown in the State of New York and currently lives in Florida with her family. She has penned novels such as The Monsters of Templeton — praised by Stephen King — Arcadia, and Fates and Furies. The latter was in the finals of the 2015 National Book Award and was listed among the best books of 2015 by Amazon, The Washington Post, Kirkus, and Library Journal. Barack Obama also described Fates and Furies as the best novel of the year. In Italy, Lauren Groff has published Fates and Furies and Florida (a collection of stories) with Bompiani.


Tadej Golob will speak on 29 November at 17:30 in Sala B Ca’ Bernardo. The event will be conducted in Italian and in Slovene, with consecutive interpreting.

Tadej Golob (Maribor,  Slovenia, 1967) is a writer, journalist and mountaineer known for the range of topics his work deals with. In 2010 his first novel, Svinjske nogice, won the Kresnik prize  for the best novel of the year. Tadej Golob has written biographies of well--known Slovene public figures, as well as novels for young people. He has collaborated with many newspapers and magazines. His first detective novel, Where the catfish swim (Goga, 2016) is the first of a series concerning the inspector Taras Birsa (other titles in the series include Lenin Park, 2018, Dolina rož, 2019, Virus 2020). A TV series inspired by the novel was shot in Slovenia in 2019, and in the same year it was the third bestselling novel according to the biggest Slovene publishing house, Mladinska knjiga. The first translation of the Lenin Park series will be published in Italian by Ronzani in 2023.


The last event in this series will take place on Wednesday 5 October in Aula Magna Silvio Trentin and will feature Jhumpa Lahiri. The event will be conducted in Italian.

Jhumpa Lahiri was born in London and raised in the United States. She has taught at Princeton and is currently a professor at Barnard College (Columbia University). She lives in Rome and in New York. She has written nine books, all of which have been published in Italy by Guanda: Interpreter of Maladies, The NamesakeUnaccustomed EarthThe Lowland, Dove mi trovo (her first novel written in Italian), Il quaderno di Nerina, and Racconti romani.

Jumpa Lahiri has also translated into English some of Domenico Starnone’s novels. She has received numerous awards: the Pulitzer Prize, the  PEN/Hemingway Award, the Frank O’Connor International Short Story Award, and the Guggenheim Fellowship. In 2012 she became a member of the American Academy of Arts and Letters, and in 2019 the Italian President Sergio Mattarella nominated her Commendatore dell’Ordine «Al merito della Repubblica italiana». In 2022 she received the Crédit Agricole FriulAdria Prize “La storia in un romanzo”.