Book Discussion
European Book Club

Author Jenny Erpenbeck
Photo (detail): © Katharina Behling



The discussion in English will be moderated by Patrick Fortmann, Professor of Germanic Studies at UIC.

The European Book Club (organized by the Goethe-Institut Chicago and EUNIC Chicago) meets regularly for a book discussion of a bestselling novel in English translation. Guests who would like to attend, should read the book in advance and come prepared to participate in the discussion.

The novel tells the tale of Richard, a retired classics professor who lives in Berlin. His wife has died, and he lives a routine existence until one day he spies some African refugees staging a hunger strike in Alexanderplatz. Curiosity turns to compassion and an inner transformation, as he visits their shelter, interviews them, and becomes embroiled in their harrowing fates.

Jenny Erpenbeck was born in East Berlin in 1967. After training as a bookbinder, she read drama at Berlin’s Humboldt University and went on to study opera and directing at the Hanns Eisler Academy of Music. She has since worked on opera and music productions in Graz and Berlin. Her previous books include ‘The Old Child’, ‘Visitation’ and ‘End of Days’.

Patrick Fortmann earned his Ph.D. from Harvard and he is Associate Professor of Germanic Studies at the University of Illinois at Chicago.
He works in the long nineteenth century and is particularly interested in questions of sovereignty, emotion, and the nation.
Author and translator Susan Bernofsky directs the program Literary Translation at Columbia in the MFA Writing Program at the Columbia University School of the Arts.
Amongst her numerous awards and prizes, she is also the recipient of the 2006 Helen and Kurt Wolff Translation Prize.




150 North Michigan Avenue
Chicago, lL 60601

Language: English
Price: Free Admission
(312) 263-0472

RSVP required