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Opening speech by Ruta Sepetys published


On 7th September, 2016, the American writer Ruta Sepetys introduced the section »International Children´s and Young Adult Literature« with her opening speech »The Future Eyes of the Past«. It was part of the 16th international literature festival berlin, which took place from the 7th to the 17th September 2016, at the Haus der Berliner Festspiele. A video of the speech is available online on Youtube, as well as the text on the website of the ilb. In her very personal speech, Ruta Sepetys talks about her experiences as the daughter of a Lithuanian refugee, about her literary research, about the history and the stories that have vanished into oblivion, about the importance of compassion and the universal power of literature. According to Ruta Sepetys, the key for the maintenance of literary history against oblivion are young readers: »Truth, justice, love, trust. The young generation will be the ones to preserve and carry fading stories into the future.«

Ruta Sepetys was born in 1967 in Detroit, Michigan. She studied International Finances and worked in the music industry for 22 years. She is the author of the three novels BETWEEN SHADES OF GRAY (2011), OUT OF THE EASY (2013) and SALT TO THE SEA (2016). Her books have been translated into 35 languages, have been nominated twice for the renowned Carnegie Medal and were awarded the Notable Children’s Book Award twice (2011 and 2016)  by the New York Times. In 2013, she received the order for services rendered to Lithuania and spoke at the European Parliament. In 2017, the movie ASHES IN THE SNOW, which is based on her novel BETWEEN SHADES OF GRAY, will arrive in the cinemas. Ruta Sepetys lives in Nashville, Tennessee. In 2016, she was a returning guest of the international literature festival berlin.

After Patrick Ness (2014, speech on Youtube and the  ilb website) and Frank Cottrell Boyce (2015, speech on Youtube and the ilb website), Ruta Sepetys has been the third writer to present an opening speech for the »International Children´s and Young Adult Literature« section at the international literature festival berlin.

More information about the writer:

Website of Ruta Sepetys

Facebook page of Ruta Sepetys

Twitter page of Ruta Sepetys

Ruta Sepetys at Wikipedia