BIBLIOTOPIA literary week-end around the world – Saturday, 5th May Programme

Saturday, 5th May, 11am to 9pm *SOLD OUT*


11am Tahmima Anam and Petina Gappah in conversation

Between History and Fiction

Moderation: Matthew Wake

In English, simultaneous interpretation into French

12pm Reading

→ Auditorium

12.15-12.45pm Signing

→ Pop-up Bookshop Elemental Hut

11 am-12.30 pm – Workshop for children

Your children are welcome to attend workshops, where they will be supervised, while you attend BIBLIOTOPIA’s morning events.

In collaboration with, swiss website of slow journalism.

From 7 to 10 years up, unaccompanied children
Offered with the Bibliotopia Day Pass by reservation at:

2pm Interview with

Yasmina Khadra

Moderation: Pascal Schouwey

In French,simultaneous interpretation into English

3pm Reading

→ Auditorium

3.15-3.45pm Signing

→ Pop-up Bookshop Elemental Hut

4pm Xiaolu Guo, Katja Petrowskaja and Gazmend Kapllani in conversation

Language and Identity

Moderation: Michelle Bailat-Jones

In English, simultaneous interpretation into French

5pm Reading

→ Auditorium

5.15-5.45pm Signing

→ Pop-up Bookshop Elemental Hut

7.30pm Noa in Concert *SOLD OUT*

Beyond Borders 

with Gil Dor (guitar)

→ Auditorium

8.30pm Apéritif

Rates and Reservations *SOLD OUT*

Day Pass CHF 20.- (full price) | CHF 10.- (retired, unemployed, AI and under 30) | free for children

On reservation at

Access to all Saturday events, entrance to the exhibition and bus shuttles from Apples Station are included in the Day Pass.

The authors

Tahmima Anam

Tahmima Anam, born in Dhaka, Bangladesh, in 1975, grew up in Paris, New York and Bangkok. She was educated at Mount Holyoke College and Harvard University and now lives in Hackney east London. She is an anthropologist, a novelist and a contributing opinion writer for The New York Times. Her debut novel, A Golden Age, won the 2008 Commonwealth Writers’ Prize for Best First Book and was translated into many languages. With The Good Muslim and The Bones of Grace, Tahmima Anam completed a trilogy exploring the issues of collective and individual identity, inspired by her own Western and Bangladeshi roots. In 2013, she was named one of Granta’s Best of Young British Novelists. In 2016, she was a judge for the 2016 Man Booker International Prize.

Petina Gappah

Petina Gappah is a Zimbabwean writer with law degrees from the universities of Cambridge, Graz and Zimbabwe. Previously an international trade lawyer in Geneva, she now works as a writer and lives in Berlin. Her debut collection, An Elegy for Easterly, won the Guardian First Book Award in 2009. Her debut novel, The Book of Memory, was published in 2015: it explored the recent social and political history of Zimbabwe through the story of an albino woman consigned to Chikurubi prison in Harare, convicted of murdering a white man, her adopted father. The News of Her Death, which features in a collection of stories, Rotten Row, was shortlisted for the 2016 Sunday Times Short Story Award.

Xiaolu Guo

Xiaolu Guo was born in 1973 in a small fishing village in southern China. She studied film at the Beijing Film Academy and published six books in China before she moved to London in 2002. The English translation of Village of Stone was shortlisted for the Independent Foreign Fiction Prize and nominated for the International IMPAC Dublin Literary Award. Her first novel written in English, A Concise Chinese-English Dictionary for Lovers, was shortlisted for the Orange Prize for Fiction, and 20 Fragments of a Ravenous Youth, published in 2008, was longlisted for the Man Asian Literary Prize. Her most recent book, Once Upon a Time in the East, won the Autobiography category of the 2017 National Book Critics’ Circle Award. In 2013, she was named as one of Granta’s Best of Young British Novelists. Xiaolu Guo has also directed several award-winning films including She, a Chinese, for which she was awarded the Golden Leopard in Locarno in 2009, and a documentary about London, Late at Night.

Gazmend Kapllani

Gazmend Kapllani, born in 1967 in Albania, is a writer, journalist, and scholar. He lived in Athens for over twenty years where he received his PhD in political science and history from Panteion University, exploring the image of Albanians in the Greek press and of Greeks in the Albanian press. Gazmend Kapllani wrote his first three novels in Greek, not his native language. His work centers on themes of migration, minorities, borders, totalitarianism, and how Balkan history has shaped public and private narratives and memories. Kapllani’s novels A Short Border Handbook, My Name is Europe and The Last Page have been translated into many languages. A campaigner for human rights and justice for minorities, he was a victim of intimidation and death threats from the Greek neo-Nazi party, Golden Dawn. Since 2012, he has been living in the US. Currently he teaches Creative Writing and European History at Emerson College in Boston.

Yasmina Khadra

Yasmina Khadra is the pen name of Mohammed Moulessehoul, born in 1955 in Algerian Sahara. A former Algerian army officer, he began writing under his wife’s name in order to escape military censorship, and revealed his true identity in 2001 after leaving the army and moving to France. Awarded many prizes, his works have been translated to over forty languages and touched millions of readers. The trilogy, The Swallows of Kabul (2002), The Attack (2005) and The Sirens of Bagdad (2006), devoted to recent world conflicts, has been hugely successful. Both The Swallows of Kabul and The Attack were shortlistted for the IMPAC Award. His other well-known books that appeared in English include Wolf Dreams (1999), Cousin K (2003), What the Day Owes the Night, (2008, Best book of LIRE, and France Televisions Prize) and The Dictator’s Last Night (2015). In 2011, the Académie Française awarded him the Grand Prix de Littérature Henri Gal, celebrating his whole body of work. Many of his works were adapted for film, theatre and as graphic novels.

Katja Petrowskaja

Katja Petrowskaja was born in Kiev in 1970, to a Russian-speaking family. She studied literature in Tartu, Estonia and then completed her PhD in Moscow and in Columbia University in New York, and in Stanford University in California. She has lived in Berlin since 1999 where she works as a journalist for various Russian and German media. She won the Ingeborg Bachmann Prize in 2013 for her bestselling first book Maybe Esther, written in German. In this book she researched the origins of her family, exploring the heart of now disappeared Mitteleuropa. Awarded many other European prizes, it was a Spiegel bestseller and has been translated into nineteen languages.

Concert *SOLD OUT*


Achinoam Nini (known also as Noa), Israeli born of Yemenite origin, was raised in the US and resides now in her native country. She is Israel’s leading international singer and songwriter, having shared the stage with superstars such as Sting, Pat Metheny, Quincy Jones, Stevie Wonder, Andrea Bocelli and many more. Together with her longstanding collaborator Gil Dor, she has released over fifteen albums which have sold millions the world over. She wrote lyrics to and recorded the hugely successful theme song for the Academy Award winning film La Vita e Bella. Noa sings in six languages, has collaborated with Symphony Orchestras around the world, and performed in the world’s most prestigious venues, including the Vatican and the White House. Beyond her passionate commitment to music, Noa dedicates much of her time to promoting peace and dialogue between Israel and Palestine and to various social issues, volunteering extensively for organisations in these fields. In particular she was Israel’s first Good Will Ambassador for FAO, the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations in 2003.

See also

BIBLIOTOPIA | Friday, 4th May-Inaugural evening Programme

BIBLIOTOPIA | Sunday, 6th May Programme