This year’s sixth edition of the “Sopot by the Book”, organized by the Municipal Public Library in Sopot and the City of Sopot, will take place on 17-20 August. Each year organizers select one country, which literature becomes the leading theme of the Festival. This year, readers will have a chance to delve into the literature and culture of Spanish.
The Literary Sopot Festival was first organized in 2012, and is held in second half of August since. The first edition of the Festival was devoted to Polish reportage. Among the speakers at the Festival were: Filip Springer, Wojciech Tochman, Jacek Hugo-Bader, Mariusz Szczygieł, Magdalena Grzebałkowska, Andrzej Stasiuk. The topic of the next edition was Scandinavian and Icelandic literature, with focus on children’s literature and crime novels. The 2013’s edition hosted i.a. Christer Mjåset, a writing Norwegian neurologist, as well as Yrsa Sigurðardóttir and Eiríkur Örn Norðdahl from Iceland.
In 2014 the “Sopot by the Book” focused on exploring Russian literature. Among the guests invited to participate were: Vladimir Sorokin - known for writing postmodern fiction with elements of satire, the Soviet past, and dystopian futures plus sex, scatology, and violence. He also writes plays and screenplays, and wrote a controversial libretto for the opera Rosenthal’s Children at Moscow’s Bolshoi Theater. Our guest was also Ivan Vyrypaev - Russian director, actor, and playwright. Critics describe his aesthetics as a combination of Quentin Tarantino and Andrei Tarkovsky. In Sopot was also Elena Chizhova, the 2009 Russian Booker Prize laureate for “The Time of Women”, Aleksandra Marinina, a crime novelist and an author of inspector Anastasya Kamienska series, which was adapted to screen.
Fourth edition of the “Sopot by the Book” concentrated on Czech literature. Many prominent authors were invited to Sopot. The readers had a chance to meet with, among others, Jaroslav Rudiš - Czech writer, journalist and musician, became known after publishing his first novel Nebe pod Berlínem ("The Sky under Berlin") in 2002. Petr Zelenka, our guest, is a Czech playwright and director of theatre and film. His films have been recognized at international festivals in Moscow and Rotterdam. The Festival’s audience had also a chance to meet one of the leading representatives of the Czech “new wave”, Jiří Menzel.
In 2016, the festival celebrated Israeli literature. Sopot had been visited by David Grossman, Etgar Keret, Rutu Modan, Shira Geffen and many others.
Each edition of the “Sopot by the Book” gives an opportunity not just to explore national literatures, but also to participate in a book fair, workshops, film screenings, theatrical events. Among other of Festival’s entertainments, there are also a relaxation zone on the Cultural Beach, an open air reading zone, and a series of meetings with nominees and laureates of the Nike Award and the Ryszard Kapuściński Award for literary reportage.
The lineup does not lack options for younger readers, who are offered to take part in i.a. family workshops and meetings with popular authors, organized within the Literary for Children and the Literary for Youth series.