Atiq Rahimi

Atiq Rahimi

Atiq Rahimi, winner of last year’s Goncourt Prize, an Afghan-French writer, will be the special guest of the fourth day of the Joseph Conrad International Literature Festival (from 3rd to 7th November). Apart from the meeting with the writer on Friday (6th November) it is also planned to show the film Rahimi directed on the basis of his book Earth and Ashes. On the same day a meeting devoted to the person and works of Bruno Schulz will take place with the participation of Etgar Keret, Krystian Lupa, Jerzy Pilch and Jerzy Radziwiłowicz as well as a debate about Fantastic Literature – Different Realism – with the participation of Anna Brzezińska, Jacek Dukaj and Łukasz Orbitowski. Atiq Rahimi, born in Kabul in 1962, found refuge in France in the 1980s from the civil war raging in his country. To date he has written three novels in Persian. They include the work Earth and Ashes (Terre et cendres), which Rahimi, being also a film director, adapted himself for the screen, gaining a special award at the Cannes Festival for this adaptation. In 2008 he received the prestigious Goncourt Prize for the novel Stone of Patience (Syngue Sabour). At the beginning he published his works in Persian. Since 2002 he has written in French. In this way, as he admits himself, he broke through a creative crisis, liberating himself from a propensity towards auto-censorship. Magdalena Kamińska-Maurugeon introduces a profile of the writer in the latest Tygodnik Powszechny: “Although Islam is explicitly present in his works, Rahimi does not present himself unequivocally as a Muslim. He perfidiously describes his relationship with religion: “I am a Buddhist, because I am aware of my weaknesses. I am a Christian, because I confess my weaknesses. I am a Jew, because I mock my weaknesses. I am a Muslim, because I fight my weaknesses. I am an atheist, if God is almighty.” Nowadays Atiq Rahimi divides his time between France and Aphganistan and draws from the cultures of both countries. France gave him creative freedom and the Goncourt Prize, Aphganistan gave him sensitivity and a particular attitude to the world.” The photo comes from the resources of CORBIS photo agency.