Following on last year success of Crossings of Civilisations, the Venice City Council and Cà Foscari University in collaboration with EIUC promoted, from 21 to 23 May 2009, three days of intense literary debate and invited for the occasion some of the world's most famous writers with all their human and artistic experience. In this way the city has celebrated its historical vocation as a meeting point of peoples, cultures and the great power of literary imagination, as authors and their readers discuss the most urgent topics of our times. The invited authors share an existence and an art embracing and covering different countries, languages and cultures, embodying those plural identities which are the greatest result of an ever-more globalised world. On Thursday 21 May, the EIUC Secretary General, Prof. Florence Benoit-Rohmer, opened the event together with the organisers and local authorities.
The special guests for the 2009 edition were: Orhan Pamuk, winner of the Nobel Prize for Literature; Salman Rushdie, one of the most famous living writers; the Frenchman Yves Bonnefoy, one of the world's major poetic voices; Javier Marías, one of the best Spanish novelists; the American Robert Coover, pioneer of literary postmodernism; the famous Chinese novelist Zhang Jie; the voice of the tragedy of the Middle-East, Elias Khuri; the Greek novelist and film director Ionna Karistiani; the emerging African French-speaker Sami Tchak; Kiran Desai, who returned to Venice to present her new work; the German-speaking Italo-Chilean dramatist Gaston Salvatore; the caustic Israeli writer and film director Etger Keret as well as new voices of Italian literature such as the Italo-Albanian Ornela Vorpsi and the Italo-Argentinian Adrian Bravi.
EIUC led the special event on Saturday 23 May. Prof. Guy Haarscher (Université Libre de Bruxelles) discussed with Kiran Desai and Sami Tchak on their respective work, and more generally on literature and human rights.