European Literature Night

May 12, 2018 , 5:00 - 10:00 pm

Experience the European café culture while viewing readings, musical compositions, films, and art exhibit inspired by European contemporary books: a celebration of 15 European novels. As spectators move from room to room to discover these literary works, they will also have the chance to experience the unique impressions these novels have left on a plethora of artists. The inspirations they took away will be expressed through different mediums -- whether it be art, film, or music -- and will give viewers a truly sensational first look into the novels being presented. Art and literature are often thought to belong to their own separate worlds, but this exceptional night brings them together and makes them equally accessible to all visitors.

Throughout the evening, events will be divided into reading and reflecting times. Authors have chosen excerpts from their works to serve as springboards for conversations with the attendees and for discussions of themes important to their writing. These opportunities for reflection will offer unique occasions for exchanges between creators and consumers.

For the musical component of ELN, students of Mannes’ Composition Department chaired by Lowell Liebermann, “one of America’s most frequently performed and recorded living composers” will showcase 11 compositions in their world premieres. Each of these student compositions is directly inspired by the literary work with which it is paired. In addition, Liebermann’s own Immer, from Six Songs on Poems of Nelly Sachs, Op. 14, will be performed as part of a special closing event in the BNH Ballroom.

A very special guest is the internationally acclaimed and award-winning Czech-born American author and illustrator Peter Sís. A recipient of the Hans Christian Andersen Award -- the highest recognition that can be given to a writer or illustrator of children’s books – and eight-time winner of The New York Times Book Review Best Illustrated Book of the Year, Sís will be speaking about the genesis of his latest book, whose subject is Sir Nicholas Winton. Dubbed the “British Schindler,” Winton’s Czech Kindertransport saved the lives of 669 children in the months before the outbreak of World War II. This discussion will take place at the closing event in the Ballroom on the 4th floor of BNH and be followed by a Q&A and reception.

Select books will be available for purchase throughout the evening in their English translated versions at the Book Fair in the Ballroom. They represent diverse and varied countries of Europe: Belgium, Bulgaria, Czech Republic, Great Britain, Greece, Hungary, Malta, the Netherlands, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Slovakia, and Spain.

Free and open to the public. For more information on the program and to register your seat, please visit

Organized by: Czech Center NY