It is in front of a packed audience, in the colourful reading room of the Escher Bibliothéik, that Jean-Marc Lantz, Claudine Muno and Tom Hengen presented their poetry and prose published in Black Fountain Press’ latest anthology “Fresh from the Fountain”. Consisting of 26 other voices, from Luxembourgish authors or expats who are currently living in our country, this anthology shows that the English literary scene is thriving in Luxembourg.
Jean-Marc Lantz started the evening with his short story “Finn’s Viewing”, a witty dialogue between two former university buddies who meet in a pub and reminisce about their friend Rosie, rant about her deceased “maggot brain” husband Finn and “the bloody Westminster fascists” who are responsible for the political chaos currently swaying the United Kingdom. Full of nostalgia and dark humour, Lantz’s story keeps surprising its readers by the unexpected turns it takes.
In Claudine Muno’s short story “Stephen”, a young boy, estranged from his parents, decides to change his name on his first day of school. His personality splits: Stephen at school, likeable and surrounded by many friends, Tom at home, a disappointment and stranger to his own parents. A very compelling story about identities and the meaning of family.
Dudelange-based author Tom Hengen payed a moving tribute to Edward Steichen’s masterpiece “The Family of Man” in a poem depicting the journey each visitor undergoes while watching the desolate faces and landscapes of a Depression-plagued rural America.
A Q&A session rounded off the reading and each author could explain his or her reason for writing in English. They all agreed on one thing: writing in English, in a foreign language, keeps the flame of adventure alight, opens the doors of perception and helps connect the past with the present, in hoping of summoning a viable future. And “Fresh from the Fountain” is just this: a mix of voices, styles, experiences and compelling stories showing that the true home of these authors is the common language of humanity.
The book is available for loan at the library.