Letters from the World

We invited five acclaimed international authors to write letters to the people of Durham on the same day in August this year. We want these letters to open a window on the lives, cultures and experiences of these fascinating writers and the countries in which they work. The featured writers are: Kateryna Babkina (Ukraine), Oyinkan Braithwaite (Nigeria), Mariana Enriquez (Argentina), Khaled Khalifa (Syria), Sang Young Park (South Korea).

  • Kateryna Babkina

    Kateryna Babkina is an award-winning Ukrainian poet and writer. She has written books for children and adults and teaches creative writing. She was born in Ivano-Frankivsk, Ukraine in 1985. She worked as a contributing editor for Esquire in Ukraine and has had articles published in Focus, Business and Le Monde amongst others. Kateryna was the first Ukrainian author to have her readings at the Library of Congress, USA. Her book My Grandfather Danced the Best won the 2021 Angelus Award.

  • Oyinkan Braithwaite

    Oyinkan Braithwaite is the author of My Sister, the Serial Killer, which won multiple awards including the 2019 LA Times Award for Best Crime Thriller. It was shortlisted for the Women’s Prize for Fiction 2019 and longlisted for the Booker Prize 2019. Braithwaite is a graduate of Creative Writing and Law from Kingston University and following her degree worked as an assistant editor at a Nigerian Publishing House. My Sister, the Serial Killer has been translated into 30 languages and has also been optioned for film.

  • Mariana Enriquez

    Mariana Enriquez is an award-winning Argentine novelist and journalist. She is the author of two novels, two short story collections and a novella as well as a volume of travel writing, and a biography. Her fiction has appeared in the New Yorker and in anthologies in Spain, Mexico, Chile, Bolivia and Germany. Her English language debut Things We Lost in the Fire has been translated into twenty languages and her latest novel Our Share of the Night was awarded the prestigious 2019 Premiero Herralde de Novela. Our Share of Night will be published in English by Granta Books in 2022.

  • Khaled Khalifa

    Khaled Khalifa was born in 1964, in a village close to Aleppo, Syria. He is the author of four novels, including In Praise of Hatred, which was shortlisted for the International Prize for Arabic Fiction, and No Knives in the Kitchens of this City, which won the Naguib Mahfouz Medal for Literature in 2013. His latest novel Death is Hard Work was published by Faber and Faber in 2020. He lives in Damascus, a city he has refused to abandon despite the danger posed by the ongoing civil war.

  • Sang Young Park

    Sang Young Park is the author of Booker International-longlisted Love in the Big City. He was born in 1988 and studied French at Sungkyunkwan University. He worked as a magazine editor, copywriter, and consultant before debuting as a novelist. The title story of his bestselling short story collection, The Tears of an Unknown Artist, or Zaytun Pasta, was one of Words Without Borders’ most read pieces ever. He lives in Seoul.