21 March 2016

Renata Adler appointed Writer-in-Residence 2016

Renata Adler, writer, St. Martin, French West Indies, March 8, 1978 (Photographer: Richard Avedon) © The Richard Avedon Foundation
Renata Adler, writer, St. Martin, French West Indies, March 8, 1978 (Photographer: Richard Avedon) © The Richard Avedon Foundation

American author, journalist and film critic Renata Adler has been appointed as the International Literature Festival Utrecht (ILFU) Writer-in-Residence 2016 at the Centre for the Humanities. She will participate in selected festival as well as academic events on 21-24 April.

Renata Adler (1938) was educated in Sorbonne and Harvard University, and is best known for her analytic essays and reviews for The New Yorker magazine as well as for her 1986 book that investigates the news media. Her first novel Speedboat (1976) earned her the Ernest Hemingway Prize (1976). Set primarily in New York City, Speedboat consists mainly of a series of disparate sketches and vignettes of impressions, musings, and slices of life, all distilled through the ironic and often detached sensibility of the protagonist Jen Fain. Like Speedboat, Adler’s second novel, Pitch Dark (1983), is episodic and nonlinear.

Both these books will be made available in Dutch for the first time during the festival. Renata Adler will perform, for the first time in the Netherlands, at the ILFU Festival Evening on Saturday 23 April. See www.ilfu.nl for the complete festival programme. She will also give a masterclass to the students of Creative Writing course at the University College Utrecht (course director Simon Cook) and talk at the city symposium 'Storytelling and the City' on April 22.

Long-term partnership

The annual Writer-in-Residence programme is part of the Festival Fellowships scheme that the Centre for the Humanities has established to address the social responsibility of both academia and the arts, with the city of Utrecht taking centre stage for this exiting encounter. Implemented together with leading Utrecht festivals, CfH Festival Fellow scheme involves appointing a festival fellow – selected by the organising partners –  and organising a well-balanced programme designed for each of the fellows to engage both on an academic and an artistic level before, during and sometimes even after the festival.

Previous CfH-ILFU Writers-in-Residence were Claudio Magris from Italy, Dutch writer Bas Heijne, the Scottish author Michel Faber, Irish poet Nuala Ní Dhomhnail and French novelist Thomas Clerc. In 2016 the fellowship also forms a part of Utrecht University Lustrum Residencies programme, set up to celebrate the 380th anniversary of the University.