Lesung & Diskussion Reading & Discussion with Ronya Othmann

Ronya Othmann Lesung im GI Sri Lanka © Goethe-Institut

Tuesday, 13.02.2024 at 7 PM

The Summers

Ronya Othmann is currently touring in South Asia with her recently published debut novel ‘Die Sommer‘ (‘The Summers‘). In Sri Lanka she will participate in the first iteration of the Ceylon Literary and Arts Festival and on 13 Feb 2024 conduct a reading in the Goethe-Institut. The reading at the Goethe-Institut will be moderated by Nadishka Aloysius. 

Die Sommer / The Summers written by Ronya Othmann (Published by Hanser Verlag)
English Translation by Gary Schmidt

Leyla is the daughter of a German mother and a Yazidi Kurd... This book is the poignant debut of the winner of the Audience Award of the Ingeborg Bachmann Competition (2019) about the existence between two worlds.

The village is located in northern Syria, close to Turkey. Leyla spends every summer there. She smells and tastes it. She knows its stories. She knows where the suitcases are hidden when the residents have to flee again.

Leyla is the daughter of a German mother and a Yazidi Kurd. She usually sits in her high school near Munich, and during all summer holidays she sits on the ground in her grandparents' Yazidi village. On the Internet, she sees Aleppo, destroyed by Assad and the murder of the Yazidis by IS, - right next to it the carefree photos of her German friends. Leyla will have to make a decision. Ronya Othmann's debut novel is full of tenderness and anger about a torn world.

About the Author

Ronya Othmann © Cihan Cakmak Ronya Othmann, born in Munich in 1993, writes poetry, prose and essays and works as a journalist. She has received many awards for her writing, including the Open Mike Poetry Prize, the MDR Literature Prize and the Caroline Schlegel Prize for Essay Writing.

In 2020, she was awarded the Mara Cassens Prize for Die Sommer, her first novel, and the Orphil Debut Prize, the Horst Bienek Prize and the Horst Bingel Prize 2022 for the poetry collection die verbrechen (2021). An excerpt from Vierundsiebzig, her second novel, was awarded the Audience Prize of the Ingeborg Bachmann Competition in 2019. Ronya Othmann lives in Berlin.

Ronya Othmann writes poetry, prose, essays, and journalism. You can listen to her poems on Lyrikline, for example. Her prose and essays can be found in various journals, anthologies, and online. Ronya Othmann writes about German foreign policy in the Middle East, the genocide of the Ezîdis, trauma, flight, migration, Kurdish issues, queer issues, racism, violence, and discrimination. In the Frankfurter Allgemeine Sonntagszeitung, she writes the column Import Export. Her journalistic work can be seen on Torial.

The Social Translating Project

Ronya Othmann Sinhala Cover © Ashani Ranasinghe / Dedunna Books ‘Die Sommer‘ is part of the social-translating project which deals with German texts being translated into Asian languages. Ashani Ranasinghe has translated this book in Sinhala.

The Social Translating Project is testing a new social practice of literary translation.Translators from Asia translate a German-language novel into their respective national languages, meet in a closed digital space and work on their translations in exchange with each other and in close discourse with the author. Ashani Ranasinghe will be present at the reading in the Goethe-Institut as well. 

About the Moderator

Nadishka Aloysius is a teacher of nearly 25 years’ experience, stage actor, and award-winning author who works to share her love of literature with the world. She is a firm believer that #representationmatters and strives to showcase Sri Lankan life in her work. She writes for both children and adults, and while several of her books have been nominated for local literature awards, That Easter Sunday won the State Literary Award for Best Children’s Literature Category II in 2021. She also conducts creative writing workshops and school visits to celebrate Sri Lankan culture and wildlife.