Arnon Grunberg

A room for Kafka


Back in 2006 at a literary festival in Croatia – there are literary festivals everywhere – I met the Irish writer Anne Enright. Well met, I cannot recall having a substantial conversation with her, but when she was speaking and reading I was captivated by her.
In my experience it is very hard to listen to other writers at festivals, especially when you know that you yourself have to go up on stage and read within ten minutes. Or that very soon you yourself have to answer the question “is there a room for Kafka in the 21st century?” This story by Anne Enright is worth reading.
It reminded me also of Roddy Doyle’s remark that is very hard to write a realistic dialogue set in contemporary Dublin. Now I’m not a teenage-girl living in Dublin, but to me the narrator in Enright’s story "Natalie" is very convincing.