Biographies and Publications – Madeleine Thien and Hannah Arendt

Madeleine Thien

Born 1974 in Vancouver, B.C. to Chinese-Malaysian parents.
Thien studies at the Simon Fraser University and the University of British Columbia, takes courses in Dance and graduates with an MA in Creative Writing.

Her first book, the short story collection Simple Recipes, is published to much critical acclaim. It has since been translated into French and German. Simple Recipes is awarded the City of Vancouver Book Award and the regional Commonwealth Writers’ Prize for Best First Book.

Her debut novel Certainty is published and becomes both a finalist for the Kiriyama Pacific Rim Book Prize and named a Globe and Mail Best Book of the Year.

Thien tours Germany, visits the Leipzig Book Fair and appears on German TV to promote the publication of her debut, Einfache Rezepte (DuMont Verlag, Cologne).

Readings at the International Spring Book Fair in Munich.

2014 - 2015
Her second novel Dogs at the Perimeter (2011) is shortlisted for Berlin’s 2014 International Literature Award and wins the Frankfurt Book Fair’s 2015 Liberaturpreis. 

Her most recent novel, Do Not Say We Have Nothing, about art, music and revolution in China, is shortlisted for the Man Booker Prize and wins the prestigious Scotiabank Giller Prize.

She has taught literature and fiction in Canada, China, Germany, Nigeria, the United States, Zimbabwe, Singapore, and Japan.
Her work has been awarded the City of Vancouver Book Award, Amazon First Novel Award, and the Ovid Festival Prize, and shortlisted for the Commonwealth Writers Prize, Kiriyama Prize for Fiction, and The Sunday Times EFG Short Story Award.

Madeleine Thien is married and has been living in the Netherlands and in Quebec City. Currently, she lives in Montreal.

Hannah Arendt

Born in Hanover in 1906 into an assimilated Jewish family of social democrats. Arendt grows up in Königsberg (today’s Kaliningrad, Russia).
Arendt studies philosophy, theology and Greek philology with Martin Heidegger and Rudolf Bultmann in Marburg, with Edmund Husserl in Freiburg und with Karl Jaspers in Heidelberg.

Love and Saint Augustine, Arendt’s doctoral dissertation under the supervision of Karl Jaspers, is published in Berlin.

She marries Günther Stern who later becomes a renowned philosopher under the pseudonym Günther Anders. They divorce in 1937.

She is interrogated by the Gestapo for eight days because she had offered her apartment as temporary shelter to Jewish refugees. In the same year, she flees Germany and joins her husband in France. In Paris, she meets Heinrich Blücher and Walter Benjamin.

until 1940
She works as a social worker for a number of Jewish organizations, and is a member of the World Zionist Organization (until 1943).

Arendt marries Heinrich Blücher. She is in interned in a camp for enemy aliens in Gurs in southern France; she escapes and leaves Europe via Portugal.

She arrives in New York together with her husband and mother and starts to work for the German-Jewish magazine Aufbau.

Arendt is Executive Secretary of the Jewish Cultural Reconstruction Corporation, JCR. During two trips to Germany, she is struck by the widespread “indifference” among people.

starting in 1953
She holds lectures in Princeton, Harvard, the New School, Brooklyn College and at the University of California, Berkeley.

starting in 1961
She covers the trial of Adolf Eichmann in Jerusalem.

starting in 1963
She becomes a professor at the University of Chicago and at the New School for Social Research in New York, and holds the Gifford Lectures at the University of Aberdeen.

Hannah Arendt dies of a heart attack in her New York apartment.