Aarhus 39 – two-book collection of Quest and Odyssey

By Aarhus various authors

Illustrated by Aarhus various illustrators

RRP: £15.98 £7.99

Hay Festival is delighted to present Aarhus 39, a two-volume collection of the best emerging writers for young readers from across wider Europe. Three of among Europe’s best loved children’s authors – Matt Haig (UK), Kim Fupz Aakeson (Denmark) and Ana Cristina Herreros (Spain) – have selected thirty-nine writers under the age of forty, and invited them to write an original story on the theme of “journey”. These new stories, together with the specially commissioned illustrations that accompany them, are a celebration of great new writing for young people and reflect issues facing them in contemporary Europe. Reading stories of other people’s lives and journeys extends understanding and empathy to new generations.

Quest, a volume of seventeen stories aimed at children, will whisk you away from dark bedrooms to new dimensions and fantasy realms, via the Russian countryside and modern Rome. You’ll encounter talking field mice, invisible friends, flying kraiks, white elephants, runaway books and wardrobes that act as magic portals. Hopping across all sorts of genres and showcasing authors from all over Europe – from the Basque country and Cyprus to Iceland and the Czech Republic – this book is certain to broaden horizons and engage the reader in all kinds of fun.

Odyssey, a volume of twenty-one stories aimed at young adults, offers a variety of takes on the theme of travelling – at times funny and playful, at others dramatic and poignant – covering a wide range of themes relevant to teenagers across Europe such as coming of age, sexuality, migration, identity and displacement. Whether you’re after realism or escapism, tales about inner cities, sunny holidays or sci-fi ventures into the future, this book will have something for everyone.


William S. Burroughs

Widely recognized as being one of the most culturally influential, politically trenchant and innovative artists of the twentieth century, William S. Burroughs (1914–97) became a key figure in the generation of writers that emerged in the early 1950s. He was the author of eighteen novels and novellas, among them the 1959 classic Naked Lunch, six collections of short stories and four collections of essays.