German-Israeli Literature Festival

Das Aufmacherbild der Deutsch-Israelischen Literaturtage © Heinrich-Böll-Stiftung/Goethe-Institut

Crises are a fact of life for all of us and they occur across the entire world. They all challenge our modes of co-existence and invariably cause us to say yet again that we have to start doing things differently.

A new beginning?

Crises are a fact of life for all of us both as individuals and within our families, they arise between nations, and they occur across the entire world. Whether they relate to Brexit, world finance, climate change, refugees or the Covid-19 pandemic, they all challenge our modes of co-existence and invariably cause us to say yet again that we have to start doing things differently.
'A new beginning?': that is the question posed by this year's German-Israeli Literature Festival, which will take place in Berlin from 1 to 4 September. Nine authors will discuss the beneficial aspects of crises, the ways in which crises can be overcome, and whether they really can lead to change - or instead simply result in a speedy reversion to the prior state of affairs.


Wednesday, 1 September 2021, 8p.m.
Deutsches Theater (‘Kammerspiele’), Schumannstrasse 13a, 10117 Berlin
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  • Dr. Ellen Überschär, Co-President of the Heinrich Böll Foundation
  • Prof. Dr. Carola Lentz, President of the Goethe-Institut
Reading and discussion "What needs to be done"
Regardless of whether we fix our eye on the finer details and the fleeting opportunities, or on the bigger picture: what are the key factors that enable us to identify what needs to be done?
  • Etgar Keret and Terézia Mora
  • Chair: Shelly Kupferberg

Thursday, 2 September 2021, 11a.m.
Online // Link to the stream via Literaturhaus Berlin
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What are the factors determining German-Israeli literary interactions at the present time? A discussion covering the literary scene in each of the two countries, and not least the situation in respect of literary translations, will not only take stock of how things stand now, but will also look ahead to the scope for new networks and fresh discoveries that is currently offered by the two literatures. The discussion will focus on as yet untranslated authors, on new themes and modes of writing, and on the wide range of literary activity that is evident in both countries. This event is particularly directed at translators, authors, and professionals working within the publishing world.
Discussions will be conducted in English.
  • Yoav Reiss, Owner of the publishing house Persimmon Books
  • Kerstin Malka-Winter, Information and Library, Goethe-Institut, Tel Aviv;
  • Dr. Thomas Sparr, Editor at Large, Suhrkamp Verlag
  • Moderated by: Shelly Kupferberg

Saturday, 4 September 2021, 4p.m.
Literaturhaus Berlin, Fasanenstrasse 23, 10719 Berlin
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Crises such as the Coronavirus pandemic exacerbate inequality and in the main have a much heavier impact on women. On a longer view, however, crises can also be a catalyst for change.
  • Maayan Eitan and Lisa Krusche
  • Moderated by: Natascha Freundel

Saturday, 4 September 2021, 6p.m.
Literaturhaus Berlin, Fasanenstrasse 23, 10719 Berlin
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How can we bring about change when everything already seems to be in a disastrous state? What energies are still capable of being mobilised?
  • Lizzie Doron and Antje Rávik Strubel
  • Moderated by: Shelly Kupferberg

Saturday, 4 September 2021, 8p.m.
Literaturhaus Berlin, Fasanenstrasse 23, 10719 Berlin
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New beginnings are all the more difficult in places where we feel we don’t belong. How do we initiate change in a place that doesn’t feel right for it?
  • Odeh Bisharat and Dimitri Kapitelman
  • Moderated by: Natascha Freundel


Etgar Keret

born 1967, is one of the best-known Israeli authors of his generation. He writes short stories, graphic novels and film scripts. His works have been translated into 40 languages and many have won awards and been turned into films. Keret’s most recent book, Fly Already, won the National Jewish Book Award. He lives in Tel Aviv and teaches at Tel Aviv University.

Terézia Mora

was born in Sopron, Hungary, in 1971 and has lived in Berlin since 1990. She won the 2013 German Book Prize for her novel Das Ungeheuer (‘The monster’). Her first book, the short-story collection Seltsame Materie (‘Strange material’), was awarded the Ingeborg Bachmann Prize. In 2018 she won the Georg Büchner Prize for her oeuvre as a whole. Mora also rates as one of the most renowned translators from Hungarian into German.

Maayan Eitan

studied Comparative Literature in Israel and the USA. Her debut novel Love was published in Israel in 2020 and became a best-seller. Her work regularly appears in Israeli and US literary magazines. Maayan Eitan lives in Tel Aviv and is currently working on her second novel.

Lisa Krusche

was born in Hildesheim in 1990 and studied Fine Arts.  Her writing has been featured in numerous magazines and anthologies. In 2019 she was Writer in Residence in Hall in Tyrol and also won the Radio Essay Prize for her book Heul doch (‘Go on, cry’), followed a year later by the Deutschlandfunk Prize. Unsere anarchistischen Herzen (‘Our anarchist hearts’) is her first novel. Lisa Krusche lives in Braunschweig.

Lizzie Doron

born 1953 in Tel Aviv, lived in a kibbutz before going on to study Linguistics. In 2007 Doron won the Jeanette Schocken Prize, and in 2018 (jointly with Mirjam Pressler) she was awarded the Korn and Gerstenmann Foundation Peace Prize. The following year she was appointed to the Friedrich Dürrenmatt Guest Professorship for World Literature at Berne University. Lizzie Doron lives in Tel Aviv and Berlin.

Odeh Bisharat

born 1958, was General Secretary of the Arab-Israeli political party Hadash for four years. He currently writes for the daily newspaper Ha’aretz and for several Arabic websites. Bisharat has published three novels in Arabic, of which two - ‘The streets of Zatunia’ and ‘Donia’ - have been translated into Hebrew. In 2017 he was awarded the Israeli Ministry of Culture Prize for his fiction writing. He lives in northern Israel.

Antje Rávik Strubel

born 1974 in Potsdam, completed an apprenticeship in bookselling and then studied American Studies , Psychology and Literature in Berlin and New York. Her work has won numerous prizes, most recently the 2019 ‘Preis der Literaturhäuser’. Antje Rávik Strubel has taught at the German Literary Institute in Leipzig and has translated books by various anglophone and Swedish writers, including Joan Didion, Virginia Woolf and Lena Andersson.

Julia Fermentto-Tzaisler

was born in 1984, and studied Jewish-American and Yiddish Literature. Her work has been published in Israel, Germany, Poland, Great Britain and the USA. Her debut novel, Safari, was published in Israel in 2011 and became a best-seller. Her second novel, By the Orange Orchard, won the Ministry of Culture Award for Young Authors.

Dmitrij Kapitelman

born 1986 in Kiev, came to Germany at the age of eight as a Jewish ‘quota refugee’. He studied Politics and Sociology at Leipzig University and also studied at the German School of Journalism in Munich. He works as a writer and journalist. His debut novel Das Lächeln meines unsichtbaren Vaters (‘The smile of my invisible father’) was published in 2016 and won the Klaus-Michael Kühne Prize.

Book trade representatives

Kerstin Malka-Winter

studied Library and Information Sciences in Berlin and Tel Aviv. For the last fourteen years she has worked at the Goethe-Institut in Israel, focussing chiefly on the promotion of literature and on translation support. Alongside her Goethe-Institut work she is currently also translating a novel from Hebrew into German - her first such venture.

Yoav Reiss

served for more than 25 years as Editorial Manager as well as Print Production Manager in some of the major leading publishing houses in Israel. From 2018 he has embarked on a new challenge to follow his dream of having his own publishing house - Persimmon Books publishes literary hidden gems of fiction books, mainly from the first half of the 20th century going back to the late 19th century. Persimmon Books seeks for literary prose that deals with social and political statements to which relevance can be attributed even today. We pay significant attention to literary prose that deals with or written by LGBTQ authors – these are the sort of books we believe that deserves to be presented to the Hebrew language readers and bring new depth, specialty and of course quality to the more sophisticated readers.

Thomas Sparr

studied Literature and Philosophy in Hamburg, Marbach and Paris, and worked in Jerusalem both at the Hebrew University and the Leo Baeck Institute. He was later head of the Jüdische Verlag and Chief Editor at the Siedler Verlag. He is currently Editor at Large for the Suhrkamp Verlag. In 2018 the Berenberg Verlag published his book Grunewald im Orient. Das deutsch-jüdische Jerusalem (‘The Grunewald of the East: German-Jewish Jerusalem’), and 2020 saw the publication of his book Todesfuge. Biographie eines Gedichts (‘“Todesfuge”. Biography of a poem’) by the Deutsche Verlags-Anstalt (DVA). Berenberg will soon be publishing his new book Hotel Budapest, Berlin ... Von Ungarn in Deutschland (‘Hotel Budapest, Berlin ... On Hungarians in Berlin’).


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