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Opening ceremony of the seventh edition of the European literature festival BookStar 2021

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Opening ceremony of the seventh edition of the European literature festival BookStar 2021



October 11th 2021







The publishing house “Antolog” from Skopje is very pleased to announce that tomorrow the seventh edition of the Festival of European Literature “BookStar” / „Книжевни ѕвезди“ begins and will be held in October 12th to 15th, 2021.

Under the slogan GENRESIS, this year, eight European and one domestic author will be presented to the Macedonian audience. All authors will be personally present in Skopje. The “BookStar 2021” award will be given to Miodrag Majić from Serbia.




The focus of the festival this year will be on the guest appearances of the authors and the promotions of their books.


October 12

“BookStar 2021” will be opened on October 12th, starting at 20:00, with a honorary speech by Julian Vassallo, Deputy Ambassador of the European Union to the Republic of North Macedonia.

The first writer, Katharina Winkler from Austria, will be introduced immediately afterwards. Her novel “Blauschmuck” (“Blue jewelery”), a poignant story of domestic violence based on real events, will be promoted. The book will be promoted by Kalia Dimitrova. The moderator of the event will be Ana Vasileva.

After that, the latest book “Viola arsenica: notes on poetry by one of the most important and most appreciated Macedonian authors, Vlada Uroshevikj, will be promoted. A short presentation of the book and a conversation with the author will be made by Vladimir Martinovski, and excerpts will be read by Ana Golejska-Dzikova and Ivan Shopov. This event is organized in cooperation with the Macedonian Academy of Sciences and Arts and the publishing house “Goten”, which is also the publisher of the book.


October 13

On October 13th, starting at 19:00, the book Pod oba sunca” (“Under the two suns”) by the author Ognjen Spahić from Montenegro will be presented. The book will be promoted by Olivera Kjorveziroska, and the moderator of the event will be Vladimir Jankovski.

After this promotion, the books Korngult hár, grá augu (Red Milk), Rökkurbýsnir (From the Mouth of the Whale) and Skugga-Baldur (The Blue Fox”) by the guest from Iceland, Sjón, will be presented. Promoters of his books will be Vladimir Martinovski and Julijana Velichkovska.

The last event of this festival night is the promotion of the book Bardhëzi (Black and white) by Ballsor Hoxha, the guest from Kosovo. His book will be presented by Aleksandar Madjarovski.


October 14

On October 14th there will be two more promotions, and this evening is reserved for the guests from Croatia.

The novel “Pedeset cigareta za Elenu” (“Fifty cigarettes for Elena”) by Marina Vujčić will be promoted at 19:00. The promoter of the novel will be the Macedonian writer Frosina Parmakovska.

This event is followed by the promotion of the novel Nemirnica (Disquiet) by the author Mihaela Gašpar. The novel will be promoted by Natasha Avramoska.

The moderator of these two events will be Aleksandra Jurukovska.

This festival night will end with an unusual literary reading with domestic authors entitled You tell my story and I’ll tell yours, which will be moderated by Snezhana Stojchevska. The event will be attended by Ana Golejshka-Djikova, Vladimir Lukash, Katerina Gogova, Slavcho Koviloski, Biljana Crvenkovska, Mitko Apostolov and Sanja Mihajlovikj Kostadinovska together with the guest Ballsor Hoxha.


October 15

The last night of the festival will bring two more great authors, whose books are bestsellers, not only in our country.

The books of the guest from Sweden, Sofia Lundberg, will be promoted at 19:00. The novels Och eken står där än (“Where the oak still stands”), Ett frågetecken är ett halvt hjärta (“A question mark is half a heart“) and “Den röda adressboken” (“The Red Address Book”) will be presented by Jana Misho.

We will end the “BookStar” festival with Miodrag Majić from Serbia, author of the political thrillers Deca zla (Children of Evil) and “Ostrvo pelikana” (Island of the Pelicans“). The promoters of his books will be Sasho Kokalanov and Sasho Ordanoski. Majić is also this year’s winner of the “BookStar 2021” award for the most important book between the two editions of the festival, for the book “Ostrvo pelikana” (“Island of the Pelicans”), which will be given to him on this occasion.

The moderator of these festival events will be Софиа Насевска Трифуновска.


All promotions will be held at the “Frosina” cinema at YCC.





The festival decided that the “BookStar” Award for 2021 should be given to the book “Ostrvo pelikana” (“Island of the Pelicans”) by Miodrag Majić, primarily for the courage to write on topics relevant not only to the author’s country of birth, but also to the region in which we live, as well as due to the genre originality, which is in the spirit of this year’s theme of the festival.

The novel has a real event in its base, which is neither simple nor easy to listen to. The writer Majić (as a representative of Judge Majić) successfully puts the reader in the net from which one comes up with one question in mind: How far is the truth? This dilemma is especially important in a society that is as mirrored by ours, with the judiciary and the media public falling every day on the test of working standards. The novel is not a direct answer, but a great battle for the eternal search for truth.

The metaphors and philosophy that emerge through the cruel clash of the inner and outer worlds of the four main characters, and through an unusual mix of several genres, confirms that one of the most influential judges in Serbia is an exceptional writer who knows the basic writing rule: the book must be in dialogue with the needs and emotions of the reader.


The “BookStar” award has been given since 2016. For the first two years, the best-selling book between the two festivals was awarded, but after that, the most important book published in “Antholog” during the previous year is awarded.

Previous winners:

2020 – Niccolò Ammaniti (Italy), Anna

2019 – Евгений Водолазкин (Russia), Авиатор

2018 – Slavenka Drakulić (Croatia), Nevidljiva žena i druge priče

2017 – Jussi Adler-Olsen (Denmark), Kvinden i buret

2016 – Esmahan Aykol (Turkey/Germany), Kitapçı Dükkanı





Literary discussions and round table

Within “BookStar 2021” will be organized several literary discussions which will be attended by some of the guest authors along with Macedonian representatives from the world of literature.

In honor of the 100th anniversary of the birth of the great Polish author and futurist Stanisłav Lem, the event Let’s talk about Lem” will be held on October 13th at 17:00 in the BookStar Festival Center (the foyer of “Frosina” cinema), where science fiction and Lem’s influence on world literature will be discussed by: Milica Mirkulovska, Ivica Dukoski, Zoran Miloshevski and Vladimir Simovski, and Wiktor Jazniewicz from Belarus, editor of the book “The World of Stanislav Lem”, will join the discussion. The moderator of the event will be Aleksandar Madjarovski.

On October 14th at 16:00 three foreign writers (Marina Vujčić, Ognjen Spahić and -Mihaela Gašpar) and several domestic authors and translators (Elena Koneska Svetieva, Lidija Tanushevska, Petar Andonovski and Sonja Dolžan) will discuss at a roundtable on “Translation / Communication / Understanding” and will dialogue on what translation can do for our culture today, what problems translators and authors face, such as the quality of the translated texts / works in the public space and how it can be increased. The moderator of the round table will be Vladimir Jankovski, and the event will be held at Europe House – Skopje.

The literary discussion Literary Genres: System or Creative Chaos moderated by Sonja Stojmenska-Elzeser will take place on October 15th at 17:00 at the BookStar Festival Center, where guests Sjón and Sofia Lundberg and the Macedonian authors Ivan Dodovski and Biljana Crvenkovska will share their thoughts and views on this topic. This event is organized in cooperation with the Macedonian Writers’ Association.


Creative workshop with Sjón

One of the world’s most recognizable artists of the word, Sjón, will talks about how he wrote his most famous book The Blue Fox. In front of the Macedonian audience in a unique way he will reveal the tools he uses in his own literary workshop.

It is recommended that people have read the book so they get the most out of the event.

The workshop will take place on October 15th  at 14:00 at the BookStar Festival Center.


Podcast Naked lunch in live

The podcast Naked lunch continues with Dushko Krstevski, known to the literary public for his impressive performances as a poet and as a literary promoter. During BookStar 2021, four European writers will sit on the hot seat at the “Frosina” cinema, talking to him on many literary and social topics: Katharina Winkler – October 12th at 18:00, Sjón – October 13th at 17:00, Miodrag Majić – October 14th at 17:00 and Balsor Hoxha – October 15th at 17:00.


European literature fair

During the BookStar Festival (October 12-15), we are organizing the 7th edition of the European Literature Fair especially for our readers.

Among other things, you will be able to purchase books that have won the prestigious European Union Prize for Literature, as well as other titles of the best European production.

You will also be able to visit “Zborche” / “Wordy”, our mobile bookstore, which will bring you the best books translated into Macedonian language.



The entry to all festival events is free, but a vaccination certificate is required. During the Festival, all protocols to prevent the spread of COVID-19 will be respected.

The festival is supported by the Delegation of the European Union to the Republic of North Macedonia, Ministry of Culture, “Traduki” Network, City of Skopje, Embassy of Austria, Embassy of the Kingdom of Sweden, Embassy of Poland, Icelandic Literary Center, Youth Cultural Center, Macedonian Writers’ Association and Taxi Global.

All festival activities and the full program are available on the official Facebook event.

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