Prize-winning Maltese author Loranne Vella will be the special guest of the Malta Book Festival 2019 for a series of events celebrating her works and career, the Maltese literary landscape and more.

She prefers to write in Maltese, read in English, translate from French, and dream in Japanese

The beginning of Vella’s writing career coincides with when she left the island to work as a Maltese translator. Moving away from home, she believes, is what forced her to take stock of her ‘Malteseness’. This is when she decided to shed the habit, shared by many others of her generation, of naturally gravitating towards written English, and made the intentional effort to write everything, from taking notes, communication via e-mail, text messages, and more, in Maltese.

She translates in an office, reads in bed, writes in cafes and occasionally performs in the street

Vella is a writer, translator and performer. Her creative career spanned literature, teaching, translation, theatre, before returning to long-form literature. Her first foray into novel writing is marked by the publication of It-Triloġija tal-Fiddien (Merlin Publishers, 2007, 2009, 2009), a trilogy for adolescents written together with Simon Bartolo, which steadily achieved a huge following and won her the National Book Prize twice.

Loranne VellaLoranne Vella

Her fantasy novel Rokit (Merlin Publishers), a story about time, space, photography, roots, geometry, revolution and ultimately hope, was also awarded first prize in 2018 in the category ‘Novels in Maltese and English’. Crossing genre boundaries between adult and young adult fiction, Rokit is a wonderful exercise of eco-fiction, exploring the fragmentation of Europe through the eyes of Petrel as he returns to discover his grandmother’s Maltese roots and find Malta under siege by the effects of global warming.

Vella now lives in Brussels, where she directs the interdisciplinary performance art group Barumbara Collective, which focuses on collaboration with artists from different spheres.

At the end of the day, she still tries to get her eight hours of sleep

The Malta Book Festival 2019 will take place at the Mediterranean Conference Centre, Valletta, starting from Wednesday, November 6 until Sunday, November 10.

On the evening of Wednesday, November 7, Vella will be joining three international guest authors, for the annual conference organised by the National Book Council, which this year will revolve around the theme of science fiction and fantasy writing in Malta and abroad. An author event dedicated to Vella will be taking place on Friday, November 8 at 7 pm at the Activity Area in the Sacra Infermeria Hall. The audience will have the opportunity to talk to Vella, ask questions and have their books signed.

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