Voices

2019

“Thank you so very much for inviting me to the festival this year! It was also my first time in Berlin, and I was charmed, had a few delightful discussions and made some friends for life. All your team members and volunteers made the experience very memorable for me, as did Mr Schreiber's kind attention. (…) Looking forward to longer associations with ILB in the future”

Mimi Mondal (USA)

“I had a fabulous time at the ILB, met some wonderful people, and wanted to thank you for your warm and impeccable hospitality and for the overall experience.“

Dipesh Chakrabarty (Indien)


2018

"Thank you so much!!! It was really great for me to be in berlin at the literatur festival."
Didier Eribon
(Frankreich)

"For me the festival in general and my event were beautiful, and I felt very like at home.
I hope to come back soon and thank you and the organization with all my heart."
Antonella Lattanzi
(Italien)

"Danke für alles, ich bin inspiriert von den Lesungen und Begegnungen hier – es ist fantastisch!"
Nina Wehrle
(Schweiz)

"Thank you very much for inviting me. Congratulations on the outstanding Festival! I enjoyed the Festival and my events on Politics & Drugs very much. The organization was perfect! The volunteers were extremely professional and helpful."
Lukasz Kamienski
(PL)


2017

"We had such a wonderful time at the festival, and were blown away by the caliber and breadth of the attendees. During our session the attendees were very engaged and asked such insightful questions, we hope to be able to return one day in the future. We departed feeling inspired by all those who participated."
Emily Callahan 
(USA)

"The importance of the International Literature Festival Berlin is manifest in its very title, for it is a festival that welcomes writers from many countries, not from only the same old, same old ones.  Thus it’s possible to meet a Cuban poet or an Estonian essayist or a writer who uses the language of the colony in which he or she was born, rather than the ones his parents speak.  It’s this variety, this broad choice of genre, that makes the festival important and, at least for the writers who attend, very interesting because we get to meet people who do the same work we do but who do it in an entirely different way."
Donna Leon 
(USA, Italien)

"I loved the atmosphere in the writers tent, the chance to mingle with and mix with fellow authors. During the festival, I was lucky enough to meet and read with Dirk Notz, a young hot shot of a climatologist who has spent much time in the Arctic. How on earth would we click or meet, or have anything to say, anything valid and comprehensibe for an audience? Our experiences are about climate change are at the other ends of the world. And yet we both saw that there were parallels in our knowledge and experience of the subject and our talk was all the richer for seeing this simialiry."
Monique Roffey 
(Großbritannien)


2016

“I felt so very welcome, and it was life-changing to see my words affecting people across the Atlantic Ocean.”
Alex Gino (USA)

“The ILB is effusive, warm-hearted and diverse. Imagine a festive gathering during which the bookcase topples and spills over: fascinating talk, lovely atmosphere.”
Bregje Hofstede (Niederlande/Belgien)

“The 16th internationales literaturfestival of Berlin was truly an intellectual and artistic rainbow; rich in different colour, language, generation, nationality, religious and political diversities. Transforming all these differences and varieties to a highly enjoyable harmony was a pure art.”
Mehdi Mozaffari (Iran/Dänemark)


2015

“Thank you so much for your invitation to the festival, which I enjoyed very much. It's very important to be able to meet other authors from around the world and listen to what they have to say, which otherwise would hardly be possible.”
Zsófia Bán (Brasilien/Ungarn)

“Few places have treated me so well as an author like I was treated at the Berlin International Literature Festival.”
Elnathan John (Nigeria)

“The festival was excellent, and all the organizers and management were very nice. I hope that this festival continues to remain high and a voice for the cultures of the world.”
Samar Yazbek (Syrien/Frankreich)


2014

“I have been to a remarkable writer’s festival where the emphasis is on ideas and exchange rather than celebrities and book sales. […] I feel blessed and energised, rather than drained of effort.”
Tony Birch (Australien)

„The wonderful, and what is also unique, quality of the festival is that it is about honoring great literature as well as creating a forum for discussing the most pressing ideas and issues of our times.”
Jennifer Clement (USA/Mexiko)

“It is my favourite festival in the world, I feel home after losing my home […]”
Hala Mohammad (Syrien)


2013

“The Berlin festival is a unique festival, a dream place of literary exchange […]. Thinking back on it I feel a steady hum of happiness.”
Lila Azam Zanganeh (Frankreich/USA)

“My reading in the library of Marzahn was one of the best, perhaps the best reading I ever gave in Germany. The librarian and the audience were fantastic. I will return to Marzahn, that’s for sure.”
Arnon Grünberg (Niederlande/USA)


2012

“ilb is a human size festival which manages to keep the roof beam high and stay informal at the same time.”
Georgi Gospodinov (Bulgarien/Deutschland)

“I am so grateful because I took part in such a important and big festival.”
Dragana Mladenović (Serbien)

“I loved joining the Festival because I got the chance to learn what interested people about my country and what they were expecting.”
Ma Thida (Birma)


2011

"Yours is one of the best festivals I've been in the world (and I've been to a lot of them) […]. I felt at home in my first visit and I felt at home in my second one.”
Javier Cercas (Spanien)

“The Berlin Literary Festival has a unique combination of Spartan courage, Athenian oratorship and an abundance of hospitable and intoxicating Dionysian spirit.”
Rawi Hage (Libanon)

"This was the best literary week ever […].”
D.B.C. Pierre (Irland)

 

2010

“I have seldom felt so at home at a festival. […] There’s only one wish: to be there again some day.”
Tobias Elsässer (Germany)

 

“I enjoyed the international literature festival very much and left feeling very satisfied.”
Sudabeh Mohafez (Iran/Germany)

 

“I also enjoyed being a part of the 10th international literature festival. Beyond the impressive diversity of diverse names, the program had an elegant rigor with very high quality events and smooth organization.”
Anna Schor-Tschudnowskaja (Russia)

 

2009

“It was a great pleasure to have been a guest of your wonderful festival in Berlin in 2009. [...] The catalogue is an important document. It remains valuable well beyond the festival.”
Taleb Al-Refai (Kuwait)

 

“What more could one expect from a literary festival? The festival is almost a paradise for authors. Thank you very much!”
Wally de Doncker (Belgium)

“Actually, the literature festival was an infinite celebration. A festival of words, of discoveries and translations. [...] I thank the team of the international literature festival! You are a world of your own!”

Andrés Neuman (Argentina)

 

2008

“I visited several events in the young adult/children’s area and was also amazed at how well prepared the young guests were and how enthusiastic the authors were. Such a thing can only succeed if the program management really cultivates contacts with schools. This is how it should continue, then I wouldn’t be worried about young people reading.”

Wolf Erlbruch (Germany)

“The international literature festival is one of the few festivals that brings together real literary greats in a intimate atmosphere.”

Georgi Gospodinov (Bulgaria)

“Thanks for the wonderful experience last weekend at the international literature festival. Your hospitality and generosity are incomparable! I have been to many festivals in recent years – this one was by far the best.”

Leonie Joubert (South Africa)

 

2007

“It was a pleasure to attend the festival; not only because I had the opportunity to speak in front of a hall full of enthusiastic readers, but also because everything was organized perfectly. The festival team was wonderful.”

Isabel Allende (USA)

“I just want to say thanks again for an absolutely fabulous time! [...] overall, the atmosphere and the hospitality were the best I have ever experienced. Simply unbeatable. Like a home away from home. If only every festival were like this.”

Kevin Brooks (Great Britain)

“The Berlin international literature festival stands out from the literature festivals in the world. It is a festival where literature would not be limited to separate places to which access is difficult. In Berlin, literature belongs to everyone, not just the elite. It breathes with the city and flows through it completely. It is a unique intellectual and spiritual stimulus for an author to be part of this great festival.”

Elif Shafak (Turkey)

 

2006

“I enjoyed the festival – both the program and the meeting with other writers – to the fullest. I would also like to express my gratitude to the team for hosting this unique event with the greatest kindness I have ever experienced. Everyone I met made me very happy and provided me with wonderful memories of my first visit to Berlin.”

Hiroshi Sakagami (Japan)

“[...] this festival is a real Babel on all levels. A harmonious conglomeration. A cocktail of accents, sounds and voices. The essence of the world, creative and sharp."

Abdourahman A. Waberi (Djibouti/France)

“That was truly a great literary festival! [...] You have created a beautiful atmosphere in which the works and their authors speak directly to the audience.”

Gao Xingjiang (China/France)

 

2005

“The international literature festival was simply great! Words are not enough to describe the wonderful influence on me and my work. [...] The festival has given my poetry a new home and I wish I could return to this new home again and again.”

Rofel Brion (Philippines)

“The international literature festival in Berlin was stimulating and exciting, it radiated energy and intelligence. I was honored to be in the company of so many bright minds. Thank you all very much for these days. By now I have a suitcase in Berlin.”

Namita Gokhale (India)

“The international literature festival is the work of the daring Ulrich Schreiber, who moves mountains to raise the funds for his ambitious project.”

Mario Vargas Llosa (Peru)

 

2004

“Berlin is a fantastic city and it was a fantastic festival. This city is very good for such a festival and this festival is very good for such a city.”
Yurii Andrukhovych (Ukraine)

“Here is my comment: The enthusiasm of the organizers and visitors is contagious. I enjoyed being with you, and I’d love returning even more.”

Navid Kermani (Germany)

"There was more intellectual capacity and creative energy in Berlin this week than anywhere else in the world. I was happy to be a part of it.”

John Prendergast (USA)

 

2003

“This festival is truly a great moment of dialogue and emotions in our world, which is full of international crises. Different voices, passions and visions from five different continents met and met with a very sensitive audience. Your work is our light.”

Mohammed Bennis (Morocco)

“I feel an extraordinary energy here for dialogue with the audience and for the authors to talk to each other."

Nuruddin Farah (Somalia/South Africa)

“Berlin is privileged to have such a literary gathering.”

Alberto Ruy Sanchez (Mexico)

 

2002

“Your Berlin international literature festival was not only exciting, wonderfully exhausting and electrically charged, but it was also historically important. I bow my head in gratitude to all of you [...].”

Forrest Gander (USA)

“Thank you for your hospitality and the quality of your company. I believe each and every one of us is proud to have participated in the international literature festival.”

Luljeta Lleshanaku (Albania)

“I would like to thank you for my wonderful stay in Berlin. [...]I was particularly touched by the fact that the international literature festival took place in the Berliner Ensemble. Yes, it was almost overwhelming, because Brecht was a very important influence for me. I think he would have liked the festival – his spirit seemed to have hovered over him in any case.”

Pauline Melville (Great Britain)

 

2001

“I must tell you, I was very impressed with the international literature festival. I’ve been invited to many in my life, but I don’t know of any that are as ambitious as the festival that has just taken place in Berlin.” Charles Simic (USA)