Nobel Laureate Orhan Pamuk Headlines Hay Festival in Peru

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With events based book adaptations for film and television, the Peruvian installment of the Hay series also takes on issues in science, lifestyle, and history.

In Arequipa. Image: Hay Festival

By Porter Anderson, Editor-in-Chief | @Porter_Anderson

‘Climate Crisis to Gender Equality’
The fifth edition in Peru, Hay Festival Arequipa is to run November 7 to 10, featuring writers, journalists, scientists, historians, and artists leading a program of some 100 events in four days.

A part of the network of internationally staged festivals based on the original in Wales, the Peruvian program follows the familiar mix of current affairs topics, literature, and associated disciplines, including a look at “the relationship between page and screen,” perhaps a point of programming evolution as the momentum of the books-to-film-and-television trend  in world publishing accelerates.

The festival hosts writer Guillermo Arriaga and directors Joana Reposi, Ricardo Morán, and Peru’s first female director selected to première at Cannes, Melina León.

Orhan Pamuk

Writers represented in the program this year include:

  • The Nobel Prize-winner Orhan Pamuk
  • Spain’s Juan José Millás
  • Almudena Grandes and Luis García Montero
  • France’s François-Henri Désérable
  • Europa28 novelist Leïla Slimani
  • Italy’s Paolo Cognetti
  • British author Hanif Kureishi
  • Argentina’s Tamara Kamenzsain, Guillermo Martínez and Pola Oloixarac
  • Colombia’s Héctor Abad Faciolince, Santiago Gamboa, Amalia Andrade and Melba Escobar
  • Bolivian writer Edmundo Paz Soldán
  • Chilean author Alia Trabucco
  • Venezuelan journalist Karina Sainz Borgo

Contemporary Peruvian writers feature, in the program are Alonso Cueto, Giovanna Pollarolo, Renato Cisneros, Ricardo Sumalavia, Fortunata Barrios, and Martín López de Romaña, as well as the winners of the 2018 Copé Prize, Ciro Alegría and Stuart Flores.

North and South American indigenous writers will be heard in conversation with Janet Rogers and Carleigh Baker, anthropologist Bruce Mannheim, poet Odi Gonzales Jiménez, Jorge Alejandro Vargas, and anthropologist Carmen Escalante.

The Festival’s #Bogota39 selection of the best Latin American fiction writers under 40 is represented by Rodrigo Hasbún (Bolivia), Pilar Quintana (Colombia), Emiliano Monge (Mexico) and Juan Manuel Robles (Peru).

In a prepared statement, the director of the Hay’s international programs, Cristina Fuentes is quoted, saying, “The stories on this year’s Hay Festival Arequipa program take us from Peru’s distant past into deep outer space.

“They tackle the biggest issues of our times, from the climate crisis to gender equality. At its heart, we celebrate great writers and their ability to portray universal truths. And it will be a party, too, with our most exciting line-up of late-night performances yet.”

Trends and Issues of the Day

Author Leila Slimani. Image: Hay Festival

News-driven issue-based events include:
  • Conversations with El País director for Latin America Javier Moreno
  • Brazilian journalist Naiara Galarraga
  • El Comercio director Juan José Garrido
  • Analyst Farid Kahhat
  • German philosopher Anselm Jappe
  • French essayist Olivier Guez
  • Peruvian journalists Joseph Zárate, Marco Sifuentes, Marco Avilés, Luis Jochamowitz, and Pedro Llosa

Gender equality is to be highlighted in programming with art historian Nicole Fernández and writers María Bastarós, María Emma Mannarelli, Lorena Álvarez, Teresina Muñoz Nájar, and Rocío Silva Santisteban.

Topics in scientific discovery are on stage in conversations with British scientist Lewis Dartnell; Spanish physicist José Ignacio Latorre; A.I. expert Omar Flórez; palliative care physician Kathryn Mannix; Peruvian astronaut and aerospace engineer, Aracely Quispe; and botanist Michael Way.

Fine art is to be discussed by deputy director of conservation and research at the Prado Museum in Madrid, Andrés Úbeda de los Cobos, art historian Luis Eduardo Wuffarden, and Peruvian plastic artists Claudia Coca and Ricardo Wiesse.

British historian Edward Wilson-Lee presents his biography of the son of Christopher Columbus, Hernando Columbus during the festival’s run.

Omar Zevallos talks about Ernest Hemingway, while Rafaella León and Martín Riepl contrast their portraits of president Martín Vizcarra.

Lifestyle programming focuses on Peruvian cuisine with chef Gastón Acurio; philosopher. Anthropologist Santiago Beruete talks about his work; Catholic priest Pablo D’ors explores Zen meditation; and Pablo Quintanilla debates what constitutes concepts of a “good life.”

Full programming information and tickets are available here.

A promotional video produced for the upcoming program is here:


More from Publishing Perspectives on the Hay Festival and its international events is here.

About the Author

Porter Anderson

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Porter Anderson has been named International Trade Press Journalist of the Year in London Book Fair's 2019 International Excellence Awards. He is Editor-in-Chief of Publishing Perspectives. He co-founded The Hot Sheet, a newsletter for trade and indie authors, which now is owned and operated by Jane Friedman. He formerly was Associate Editor for The FutureBook at London's The Bookseller. Anderson also has worked as a senior producer, editor, and anchor with CNN.com, CNN International, and CNN USA, and as an arts critic (National Critics Institute) with The Village Voice and Dallas Times Herald.

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