March is all about reading in Leipzig. The Leipzig Book Fair and its Reading Festival Leipzig are the spring event of the book and media industry. Authors, readers and publishers meet to inform, exchange and discover new things.
Visibility for the medium of creating books in the jungle of media offerings, for individual works as well as their creators, in the sea of books are the greatest concerns of the Leipzig Book Fair, its exhibitors and partners. Already at the opening of the Leipzig Book Fair in the Gewandhaus in Leipzig, Prof. Monika Grütters MdB, Minister of State and Commissioner for Culture and Media, warned: “It will not work without people who value the book.”
Munich celebrates the tenth anniversary of its literary festival for 18 days this November. The Literature Festival in Munich consists of forums and authors, in association with the Munich Book Fair and the festival program of the Literaturhaus Munich with the market of independent publishers. The awards for the Geschwister-Scholl Prize and the LiteraVision television award will also be presented during the literature festival. The curator program forum reinvents itself every year with a new theme. It is designed by changing writers who set individual priorities in cooperation with Literaturhaus. Jan Wagner followed in 2018 with his motto Beautiful Babel. European literatures as the ninth curator presents Doris Dörrie, Elke Schmitter, Albert Ostermaier, Clemens Meyer, Dagmar Leupold, Thea Dorn, Matthias Politycki and Ilija Trojanow. For two and a half weeks, (inter-) national authors meet to explore non-fiction, literature, music, classics, thrillers, bookbinding, writing workshops and more.
Deutsches Haus at NYU presents a reading by the author and current writer-in-residence at Deutsches Haus at NYU, Vea Kaiser, from her recent novel Makarionissi oder Die Insel der Seligen, followed by a conversation with the acclaimed Germanist, writer and mastermind of @neinquarterly, Eric Jarosinski.
Makarionissi oder Die Insel der Seligen:
When Yiayia Maria misreads the signs in a little village nestled in the Greek mountains, she ends up bringing misfortune to more than one generation of her family. Her grandson discovers the eroticism of the German language in a small town in Lower Saxony. His cousin, who is feared by her political opponents as a modern Antigone, gives birth to a girl with a caul on a stormy night. Meanwhile, an Austrian province becomes the scene of a fierce battle for hegemony, and exotic cooking with ants and locusts in a Swiss metropolis is used as a means to soothe a longing for far-away places. And finally, on an island shaped like a stag beetle, an unemployed trade unionist embarks on a desperate search for his wedding ring, while an eccentric musician finds the woman he had lost 40 years ago.
Vea Kaiser, born 1988 in St. Pölten, Austria, published her first novel Blasmusikpop oder Wie die Wissenschaft in die Berge kam in 2012. It was ranked #1 in the ORF bestseller list and was awarded the prize for “Best Debut Novel” at the 2013 international Festival du Premier Roman in France. Her first play Die Argonauten premiered 2014 at the Viennese Rabenhoftheater. She was also writer-in-residence at the Bowling Green State University and was voted “Author of the Year” by Austrian readers. Her second novel Makarionissi oder die Insel der Seligen, published 2015, accelerated into various bestseller lists. Whenever she is not on book-signing tour through Europe, Vea Kaiser studies ancient Greek in Vienna and writes about her Fabelhafte Welt (Fabulous World) filled with deaf dogs, adventurous recipes, the ancient world, soccer, high heels, sailing, cooking, fortune-telling, a big loud wild family, and the magic of literature in the magazine Kurier.
Once a professor of German language and literature, Eric Jarosinski has gone on to find his true calling as a former professor of German language and literature. He is currently the editor and sole author of @NeinQuarterly, the world’s leading fictitious journal of utopian negation (found on Twitter), and a columnist for the German weekly Die Zeit. In addition, Jarosinski regularly takes his stand-up philosophy/sit-down comedy on the road as part of his ongoing Failed Intellectual Goodwill Tour. His writing and stage performances have been featured in numerous international publications, including the New Yorker, The Economist, Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung, and El País. Jarosinski’s first book, Nein. A Manifesto., was recently published in six languages.
Events at Deutsches Haus are free and open to the public. If you would like to attend this event, please send an email to [email protected]. As space at Deutsches Haus is limited, please arrive ten minutes prior to the event to ensure you get a good seat. Thank you!
“Makarionissi oder Die Insel der Seligen: An Evening with Vea Kaiser and Eric Jarosinski” is presented with the generous support of the Federal Chancellery of Austria.
Deutsches Haus at NYU presents a reading by award-winning translator, writer, and editor Peter Wortsman of Konundrum: Selected Prose of Franz Kafka. He will be joined by Tess Lewis to discuss the release of his new translation of Kafka’s short prose.
In this new selection and translation, Peter Wortsman mines Franz Kafka’s entire opus of short prose – including works published in the author’s brief lifetime, stories published posthumously, journals, and letters – for narratives that sound the imaginative depths of the great German-Jewish scribe from Prague. It is the first volume in English to consider his deeply strange, resonantly humane letters and journal entries alongside his classic short fiction and lyrical vignettes. Transformed is a vivid retranslation of one of Kafka’s signature stories, Die Verwandlung, commonly rendered in English as The Metamorphosis. Composed of short, black-comic parables, fables, fairy tales, reflections, as well as classic stories like In the Penal Colony, Kafka’s uncanny foreshadowing of the Twentieth Century’s nightmare, Konundrum refreshes the writer’s mythic storytelling powers for a new generation of readers.
Peter Wortsman was a Fulbright Fellow in 1973, a Thomas J. Watson Foundation Fellow in 1974, and a Holtzbrinck Fellow at the American Academy in Berlin in 2010. His writing has been honored with the 1985 Beard’s Fund Short Story Award, the 2008 Gertje Potash-Suhr Prosapreis of the Society for Contemporary American Literature in German, the 2012 Gold Grand Prize for Best Travel Story of the Year in the Solas Awards Competition, and a 2014 Independent Publishers Book Award (IPPY). His travel reflections were selected five years in a row, 2008-2012, and again in 2016, for inclusion in The Best Travel Writing. He is the author of two books of short fiction, A Modern Way to Die (1991) and Footprints in Wet Cement (forthcoming 2017), the plays The Tattooed Man Tells All (2000) and Burning Words (2006), and the travel memoir Ghost Dance in Berlin: A Rhapsody in Gray (2013), and the novel Cold Earth Wanderers (2014). Wortsman’s numerous translations from the German include Telegrams of the Soul: Selected Prose of Peter Altenberg, Travel Pictures by Heinrich Heine, Posthumous Papers of a Living Author by Robert Musil, Peter Schlemiel, The Man Who Sold His Shadow by Adelbert von Chamisso, and Selected Prose of Heinrich von Kleist, many of which are published by Archipelago Books. He edited and translated an anthology, Tales of the German Imagination: From the Brothers Grimm to Ingeborg Bachmann, from Penguin Classics. He works as a medical and travel journalist.
Tess Lewis’ translations from French and German include works by Maja Haderlap, Peter Handke, Alois Hotschnig, Melinda Nadj Abonji, Philippe Jaccottet, and the painter Anselm Kiefer. Her recent awards include a Max Geilinger Award, the Austrian Cultural Forum NY Translation Prize, and a Guggenheim Fellowship. She also serves as an Advisory Editor for The Hudson Review and writes essays on European literature for a number of journals and newspapers including The New Criterion, The Hudson Review, World Literature Today, The American Scholar, and Bookforum.
Copies of Konundrum: Selected Prose of Franz Kafka will be sold by Archipelago Books at the event.
Events at Deutsches Haus are free and open to the public. If you would like to attend this event, please send an email to [email protected] As space at Deutsches Haus is limited, please arrive ten minutes prior to the event to ensure you get a good seat. Thank you!
“Konundrum: Selected Prose of Franz Kafka” is presented in collaboration with Archipelago Books.