21 May-22 June 2004. This is a literary festival that started gently two years ago with few expectations, and then took the city by storm. Last year, the programme was longer and better organised, but every appointment was still packed, and many disappointed spectators were turned away at the door. The events consist of international authors reading from a yet unpublished work, an actor reading from one of the authors published texts, and live music, all this in the delightful setting of the Basilica di Massenzio in the Roman Forum. The theme this year is "real/imaginary", and the programme opens with the writer Alvaro Mutis accompanied by the actor Carlo Cecchi (21 May); then Jonathan Franzen and actress Galatea Ranzi (26 May). Other authors at the festival include Agota Kristof, J.M. Gustave Le Clezio, Colson Whitehead, Abbasse Ndione, Banana Yoshimoto, Niccol Ammaniti, Melania Mazzucco, Azar Nafisi, Jhumpa Lahiri, Carlos Fuentes, Guillermo Arriaga and the grand finale with the South African Nobel prize winner J.M. Coetzee.

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Address For information Casa delle Letterature, www.casadelleletterature.it.

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Letterature. Terzo Festival Internazionale di Roma.

For information Casa delle Letterature, www.casadelleletterature.it.