The 2016 Transylvanian Book Festival will again be based in the village of Richis with guests staying in the surrounding area, including the ancient Saxon villages of Biertan, Copsa Mare and Alma Vii, all with fine fortified churches.
We are delighted to have already confirmed the following speakers:
Anouk Markovits, author ‘I am Forbidden’
Alan Ogden, author ‘Winds of Sorrow’
Bronwen Riley, author ‘Transylvania’
Jessica Douglas-Home, author and co-founder of the Mihai Eminescu Trust
Stephen Watts and Claudiu Komartin, poets who translate each other’s work
Bob Gibbons, botanist and author
John Wyse Jackson, author and founder of Zozimus Bookshop, who will speak on Walter Starkie
Dragos Lumpan, speaking on Transhumance
Tim Burford, travel writer for the Rough Guide
Mike Ormsby, author ‘Never Mind the Balkans, Here’s Romania’
Simon Fenwick, author who will speak on Joan Leigh Fermor
Bernard Wasserstein, author of ‘On The Eve’
Norman Stone, historian and author
Julie Dawson, speaking on the Medias synagogue
Zsuzsa Szebeni, speaking on Banffy's designs
All this over 3 full days as well as music, celebratory meals, excursions and wonderful company.
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The first festival in 2013 was a wonderful success and more than lived up to its objective of introducing the history and beauty of Transylvania to a new audience through the medium of literature. As one of our visitors said, “The Transylvanian Book Festival was not like any other book festival out there, it brimmed with excitement as visitors immersed themselves in the local culture to get a taste of the Transylvanian way of life, in a neatly packed event that transported you to a different world, one that has been suspended in time and that only now comes to light to the rest of the world.”
Here are a few of the other plaudits we have received:
“I just wanted to say that the Transylvanian Book Festival was the most exhilarating and enjoyable literary festival I've ever attended.”
“Thank you for the most amazing, fascinating, informative and moving Festival… that has left us imbued with a new sense of respect and admiration for the land and peoples of Romania. How much they have suffered and how much, I fear, they will still have to contend with in the near future.”
“I just wanted to say what a wonderful , magical and very very special experience the TBF was.”
“The festival itself was very moving there were many stories that made me cry and others that made me laugh.”
“What a triumph you have had and how privileged I was to have been part of it! I loved every minute and learned so much.”
“Looking back now, those four packed days already seem like a dream. We all learned so much - not only about Transylvania - and made so many friends and had such a gloriously happy time.”
“None of us will ever forget the first Transylvanian Book Festival… I consider myself fortunate to have been a part of it.”
“I am still processing everything that happened at the festival and gathering many thoughts... I've never been to anything quite like it before. The amazing collection of people, lack of division between speakers and audience, moving testimonies of victims of communism and Saxon survivors, the beauty of the music and the fun of the picnic, the new friendships that were struck, the conversations I had and the things I learned, and of course the late nights in the Gypsy bar, will always stay with me.”
“I think this event will be remembered and get its place in history.”
“Was it real, or far, far away in the imagination. Back home now, the whole 5 days a golden dream, every moment glowing and shimmering in the last days of summer onto an amazing disparate group of people, every type and combination, interacting with pleasure, so happy to be there and I think fascinated by Richis, but also the high emotional and intellectual content of the talks.”
“I couldn’t have enjoyed it more…”
“We loved it. It was an education in literature, art, history and culture, an eye opener, a thought provoker and a great social event!”
“This has been, quite simply, the best and most inspiring literary festival I’ve ever attended. But more even than the readings, what has made it special has been the beauty of the countryside, the warmth of the locals, and – dare I say it? – the incredible cheapness of Romanian beer...”
See the pocket guide to the festival here.
Banffy's granddaughter Elisabeth Salnikoff with Lucy Abel Smith.
The sun shines down on the Festival.