If we were having coffee, we’d meet at one of the cafes in downtown Warsaw. I’d get a green smoothie; you know how much I like them. We’d sit outside as the weather is too nice for anything else, especially since most cafes are just too hot inside right now. Isn’t it a beautiful day?
I’d tell you about the first Big Book Festival events that took place Friday. I attended a discussion about journalism, reportage, and literature led by Razia Iqbal, a BBC journalist. Iqbal interviewed Artur Domoslawski, who wrote Ryszard Kapuscinski’s biography. You can read more about the biography here.
Razia Iqbal is a talented journalist, who knows how to ask the right questions and create interest (in the listener). There were moments during the discussion I found myself (and noticed others) leaning in out of the shear curiosity her framing of questions brought out in me.
Asking the right questions really is a talent for any type of writer. This discussion posed some very interesting questions. One of the most pertinent was about boundaries. Where does journalism end and literature (fiction) begin? They seem at opposite ends of the spectrum, but Kapuscinski really blurred the lines between the two, so where does that put his books, his reputation?
After this discussion, I was supposed to see a multimedia performance titled After Dark. Following Jerzy Pilch. I was supposed to see it, but the weather changed everyone’s plans. The heat and humidity gave way to a beautiful thunderstorm, which I got to witness and be inundated by for about 2o minutes before the festival organizers told us the performance was impossible due to the weather.
Don’t worry, I was fortunate enough to be handed a poncho just as the rain was starting. It was one of those ponchos you can get at amusement parks that feel like you’re wearing a plastic shopping bag.
So you want to know my plan for today? After our coffee share, I will go to a discussion with Sofi Oksanen, a Finnish-Estonian writer, hosted by Sylwia Chutnik, a Polish novelist. I also plan on attending discussions with Sophie Hannah and Zadie Smith. The organizers plan on redoing the performance tonight, so I might go to that. My husband will join me, so we may go to a bar or dancing this evening. We’ll see.
On Sunday, I will go to just one discussion, with the writer Herbjørg Wassmo from Norway. Then, we’ll probably go to brunch at one of the many vegan restaurants in Warsaw. There’s been an outpouring of vegan restaurants recently; I feel like Warsaw is vegan heaven right now. Yesterday, I discovered a vegan pizza place, which is quite tempting. I may have to check it out.
How was your week? Any interesting plans for the weekend?
You should subscribe to my monthly newsletter.