The Literature Night aims to promote contemporary literature and reading. 

Participating European cultural institutions select authors and literary texts related to the topic, and actors read out excerpts from these books. The venues are unique places, otherwise not available to the public. The program is organised by EUNIC Hungary.

For three nights this year, the literary event will feature actors reading excerpts from 25 authors from 24 countries in special venues that are not literary or well-know. In Budapest, the inner city (Erzsébetváros) will host the readings. The topic this year: EMERGENCY EXIT.

The readings will take place in Budapest between 23-25 June 2021, and in Debrecen between 10-12 June 2021.

Actors sitting in dimmed room and reading from book.


Ali Smith (1962) is a Scottish novelist, playwright, journalist and one of the most significant authors of contemporary British literature. His novel How to Be Both (2014) is comparable to a literary graphic work by Escher, in which fates, spaces and identities are intertwined. In 2015, the novel won the Baileys Prize, the most prestigious literary award for women. Autumn is the first part of the Seasons Quartet, which was also shortlisted for the Man Booker Prize. The volumes in the series explore the impact of the 2016 UK EU referendum in separate but beautifully interconnected stories.


Ősz (Magvető, 2020)

Translated by Mónika Mesterházi

Every week, 32-year-old Elisabeth visits 101-year-old Daniel, who spends his days sleeping in a nursing home. She became a friend of her elderly neighbour as a child, who introduced her to the work of Pauline Boty, the only British female pop artist, who died tragically young. While Elisabeth is waiting for Daniel to wake up, Britain is trying to cope with the aftermath of the referendum. Ali Smith’s novel is a lyrical meditation on friendship, the changing world and the social fault lines caused by Brexit.


Budapest: inner city venues (Erzsébetváros) (Facebook event)

Debrecen: outdoor downtown venues (Facebook event)


Mónika Mesterházi (1967-) is a poet, essayist and literary translator. She graduated from the Hungarian-English Department at ELTE. She is the author of several books of poetry. She translates novels, short stories and poetry from English into Hungarian (e.g. works by Alice Munro, Lydia Davis, Ali Smith).


Budapest: 23-25 June 2021.

Debrecen: 10-12 June 2021.

External links