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Theodor Kallifatides in conversation with Monika Zgustova

Exile and lost identity

Segovia 2019, 

Writer Theodor Kallifatides was born in Greece in 1938 and emigrated to Sweden in 1964, where he began his literary career. He has published more than forty works comprising fiction, essays and poetry, which have been translated into several languages and have received multiple awards over the decades. At seventy-seven, suffering from writer’s block, he makes the difficult decision to sell his Stockholm studio and travels to his native Greece with the hope of rediscovering the easy flow of language. He gathers his observations and emotions in Another Life and explores the relationship between a meaningful life and meaningful work, and how to reconcile himself with ageing. Kallifatides exchanges impressions about life in exile and the impact on identity with translator, writer and journalist Monika Zgustova, who was born in Prague and settled in Barcelona four decades ago. Zgustova has sixty translations from Czech and Russian, for which she has received the City of Barcelona Award and the Angel Crespo Prize. She is also author of six novels, with the latest, Un revólver para salir de noche (‘A handgun to go out at night’) due to be published this autumn. Her work of fiction revolves around exile, the loss of identity and the intimate life of people in times of totalitarianism.

Monika Zgustova photo ©: Antoni Sella