The British academic and writer Patrick McGuinness will be among the special guests for this year’s edition of the Malta Book Festival. Born in Tunisia in 1968 to a Belgian French-speaking mother and an English father of Irish descent, he grew up in Belgium and also lived for periods in Venezuela, Iran, Romania and the UK. It is, in fact, the time that he spent in Romania as a witness of the downfall of the communist regime that provided invaluable material for his first novel, The Last Hundred Years, which he will present here in Malta during the festival. He is also expected to participate along with three other guests in a conference on Literature and Totalitarianism.
Patrick McGuinness is also well-known as an academic specialising in French symbolist poetry. His translations into English of Mallarmé’s poems filled a huge gap in the English language scholarship of symbolist poetry as it was notoriously difficult to find convincing translations of Mallarmé’s work before. He has also published a number of poetry collections, the first being The Canals of Mars in 2004, followed by 19th Century Blues, which was a winner in The Poetry Business Book & Pamphlet Competition 2006.
His latest poetry publication is Jilted City, in which a sequence called Blue Guide is about the train journeys made by the young McGuinness on the historic railway line, la ligne 162, between Brussels and Luxembourg.
Visitors to the festival can meet Patrick both at the conference on Literature and Totalitarianism, which will take place on Wednesday 9th November at 19:00hrs, as well as on Thursday 10th at 19:00hrs at the event which will be held in his honour and during which the author will discuss his novel with Dr James Corby and answer questions from the audience.
For more info about the Festival five-day cultural programme of events: