Reading and discussion
The End of Loneliness: Benedict Wells in conversation with Liesl Schillinger
German author Benedict Wells will present his internationally bestselling novel The End of Loneliness (Penguin, 2019; translated by Charlotte Collins) in a conversation with critic Liesl Schillinger.
The End of Loneliness is a kaleidoscopic family saga told through the fractured lives of the three siblings who are estranged as adults but united by a tragic event that has haunted them since childhood. Combining a certain German melancholy with the page-turning narrative drive of Wells’s American literary influences like John Irving and Michael Chabon, the book spent more than a year and a half on the Spiegel bestseller list and was awarded the 2016 European Union Prize for Literature. To celebrate the arrival of the acclaimed English-language translation in the US, Wells and Schillinger will discuss the novel’s varied stylistic influences, its new take on the enduring coming-of-age novel, and the resonance it found in an increasingly fractured and disillusioned Europe.
Benedict Wells, born in Munich in 1984, moved to Berlin after completing school in 2003. He decided against university to concentrate on his writing, earning a living with various jobs. His widely praised debut Beck’s Last Summer was published in 2008 and adapted into a film in 2015. The End of Loneliness is his fourth novel. After several years in Barcelona, Benedict Wells has returned to Berlin. His books have been published in 34 languages.
Liesl Schillinger is a literary critic, writer and translator, and teaches journalism and criticism at the New School in New York City. Her articles, reviews and essays have appeared in the New York Times, Foreign Policy, the New York Review of Books, the New Yorker, the New Republic, the Washington Post, and other publications. She has translated novels from the French and the German for Penguin Classics, Viking, and New York Review Books, and is the author of Wordbirds: An Irreverent Lexicon for the 21st Century. In 2017 she was named a Chevalier of the Ordre des Arts et des Lettres of France.
Co-sponsored by the Goethe-Institut New York and the German Book Office/Frankfurt Book Fair New York.
This event received support from Books First, the Goethe-Institut’s new program for bringing literature in German to English-speaking readers.
Goethe-Institut New York
30 Irving Place
New York, NY 10003
Price: Free admission
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