Uprooted: Jenny Erpenbeck and Ahmad Danny Ramadan at Vancouver Writers Festival

Jenny Erpenbeck Jenny Erpenbeck | Photo: writersfest.bc.ca Every refugee has a story to tell—why they left, the journey they’ve made, what they left behind, the uncertain future they face. Jenny Erpenbeck, a German writer hailed as “one of the most significant German-language novelists of her generation,” enters the refugee story through a retired Berlin professor whose curiosity turns to compassion as he befriends African refugees forced to be idle while bureaucracy grinds along. Ahmad Danny Ramadan, a Syrian refugee himself now living in Vancouver, focuses in his novel on what gets left behind, a story of two lovers forced to leave a dying Syria, but anchored to memories of childhoods in Damascus, cruelty endured, leaving home and war. Take a look behind the headlines to the lives of millions worldwide who have been uprooted.

Before becoming a writer, Jenny Erpenbeck has trained as a bookbinder and worked as a wardrobe supervisor and director at an opera house. Her diverse artistic background has made Erpenbeck a unique voice who has been called, “one of the most significant German-language novelists of her generation” by The Millions. Erpenbeck’s Go, Went, Gone is a critical and thoughtful novel about the the European refugee crisis and one man’s attempts to understand the immigrant experience.

Jenny Erpenbeck is a guest of the Goethe-Institut.