Readings of 'War and Turpentine' at European Literature Night

Friday, June 2, 2017 - 11:00pm to Saturday, June 3, 2017 - 3:00am



Readings from 'War and Turpentine' from 8:00 - 9: 00 PM at the Ballroom Bar.

Refreshments will be served.

Copies of 'War and Turpentine' will be available for sale.


Longlisted for the Man Booker International Prize 2017
A New York Times Top 10 Best Book of the Year
An Economist Best Book of the Year

The life of Urbain Martien—artist, soldier, survivor of World War I—lies contained in two notebooks he left behind when he died in 1981. In War and Turpentine, his grandson, a writer, retells his grandfather’s story, the notebooks providing a key to the locked chambers of Urbain’s memory.

With vivid detail, the grandson recounts a whole life: Urbain as the child of a lowly church painter, retouching his father’s work;dodging death in a foundry; fighting in the war that altered the course of history; marrying the sister of the woman he truly loved; being haunted by an ever-present reminder of the artist he had hoped to be and the soldier he was forced to become. Wrestling with this tale, the grandson straddles past and present, searching for a way to understand his own part in both. As artfully rendered as a Renaissance fresco, War and Turpentine paints an extraordinary portrait of one man’s life and reveals how that life echoed down through the generations.

(With black-and-white illustrations throughout)



The one night only free special event will take place on Friday, June 2, 2017 throughout Bohemian National Hall.

European Literature Night (ELN) comes to Bohemian National Hall in New York City on June 2 at 7pm, with actors performing a curated selection of passages from fourteen exceptional literary works of fiction and poetry from across the European continent. The selected books will be available in a book fair along with other international titles.

New York audiences will move from room to room to experience literary works from prominent and up-and-coming European authors whose work allows for the exploration of parallels between European experiences and the current cultural and political climate in America. The event is modelled after its overseas counterpart, offering a European style experience where audiences can listen to readings and exchange ideas while enjoying a beer or a glass of wine.

The evening will feature an in-person conversation with writer Marieke Nijkamp, a Dutch fiction writer whose first novel This is Where it Ends was a New York Times Young Adult Bestseller, followed by a Q&A and reception.

This special evening is free and open to the public, hosted by Czech Center New York and the Consulate General of the Czech Republic in New York with the collaboration of fourteen partnering cultural institutions and consulates.

ELN is a decade old tradition in many European countries. The inaugural New York edition is also the first in the U.S. and will be launched on the occasion of the 60th anniversary celebration of the Treaties of Rome – treaties that brought reconciliation, growth and security to millions of Europeans after WWII. The concept of the ELN is based in this spirit of unity, and on the belief that literature is a unique and creative medium that can help strengthen the dialogue between single voices and cultures, and that it is a tool of mutual understanding which helps to break down communication barriers.

The first ELN was created by the Czech Center Prague and featured readings in pubs and coffee shops throughout the city, creating the experience of a “pub crawl” enhanced by literary readings. The addition of literature and the presentation of new and evocative ideas in these traditionally communal spaces where people discuss ideas gave visitors the space and material to enjoy and then reflect upon what they had heard. The Czech Center New York hopes to provide a similar experience to those visiting the ELN in Bohemian National Hall.

The selected books come from countries representing a diverse and varied Europe: Belgium, Bulgaria, Czech Republic, Estonia, France, Greece, Hungary, Latvia, Malta, Netherlands, Poland, Portugal, Slovakia and Spain.


7:00–9:00pm Simultaneous readings in seven venues throughout Bohemian National Hall

7:00-9:00pm Book Fair in the Ballroom

9:15pm - In Conversation with Writer Marieke Nijkamp
Marieke Nijkamp discusses her New York Times Young Adult Bestseller book This is Where it Ends, and other works.

European Literature Night is free and open to the public.

RSVP will be required for the 9:15pm talk In Conversation with Writer Marieke Nijkamp.
Please RSVP to reserve a seat at https://elntalk.eventbrite.com (coming soon)

Bohemian National Hall
321 East 73rd Street, New York, NY 10021 (between 1st and 2nd Ave.)
Subway: Q to 72nd Street, 6 to 68th Street Hunter College or 77th Street.

Press Contacts:
Czech Center New York
Samina Akbari, akbari@czechcenter.com 646-422-3395
Barbara Karpetová, karpetova@czechcenter.com

Twitter: #EuropeanLiteratureNight, #EuropeanLiteratureNightNYC
Visit www.czechcenter.com for additional information.

European Union National Institutes for Culture (EUNIC)
EUNIC is a part of a global coalition of national cultural institutes and cultural diplomatic services from the European Union that works in more than 80 cities on all continents. The mission of EUNIC New York is to promote and present the best of European creative and intellectual achievements to New York and U.S. audiences. EUNIC works to create artistic and educational opportunities, strengthen cultural relations, and create effective collaboration between members and cultural institutions. http://new-york.eunic-online.eu

Czech Center New York
Czech Center New York is dedicated to creating a vibrant, progressive, international atmosphere for the propagation of social dialogue and artistic expression. We present events that feed into and complement the multi-cultural fabric of New York City to establish strong bonds with the diverse ethnic and cultural landscape that constitutes this incredible city. As the representatives of the Czech Republic and a member of the European Union, we open our doors to cultural and educational exchanges in the hope that lasting partnerships will be formed. www.czechcenter.com

Bohemian National Hall (BNH)
The Bohemian National Hall, the seat of the Consulate General of the Czech Republic in New York and Czech Center New York, is a recently redesigned, award-winning landmark building on the Upper East Side of Manhattan and a center for Czech culture in New York City. Since it was established in 1896, it has served as a focal point for its community as well as a place for exchange and dialogue with the American audience. www.bohemiannationalhall.com

EUNIC - European Union National Institutes for Culture
Delegation of the European Union to the United Nations
General Delegation of the Government of Flanders to the U.S.A.
Elizabeth Kostova Foundation
Czech Center New York
Consulate General of the Czech Republic in New York
Albertine Books in French and English
Consulate General of Estonia in New York
Onassis Foundation USA / Greek Consulate General in New York
Balassi Institute – Hungarian Cultural Center New York
Honorary Consulate of Latvia in New York
Arts Council Malta in New York
Dutch Culture USA / Consulate General of the Netherlands
Polish Cultural Institute New York
Consulate General of Portugal in New York & Teatro da Saudade
Consulate General of Slovakia in New York
Consulate General of Spain in New York

Please join us for this unique and special evening for lovers of literature!