Reading & discussion
Merle Kröger's Collision
Moderated by Sukhdev Sandhu
Goethe-Institut New York
A raft with eleven Algerian refugees, running low on fuel. A cruise ship with a small town’s worth of international passengers and crew members. An Irish freighter. A Spanish rescue vessel. One single point of convergence in a vast wash of blue water.
Miami-based The Spirit of Europe, the third largest cruise liner in the world, plows through the Mediterranean every summer, offering its passengers a temporary escape from their everyday lives. But even the bloated tackiness of the ship’s much-hyped bellyflop competition is not immune to the chaos of the European immigration crisis. When a disabled raft nears The Spirit of Europe, the ship’s captain is forced to do something headquarters in Miami wants to avoid: cut the engines.
Collision (orig. Havarie, 2015) is a maritime thriller by Merle Kröger, one of Germany’s most celebrated crime writers, building suspense through the eyes of a diverse array of memorable characters, among them Karim Yacine, the Algerian captain of the raft disable; Lalita Masarangi, member of the massive cruise ship’s security team; and Sybille Malinowski, an elderly passenger on holiday with her sister, which, as the drama at sea continues to unfold, seems to be turning increasingly sinister. Central to all of it is Nikhil “Nike” Mehta, the cruise ship’s ambitious head of security who, like an illusionist, makes the ship’s relentless problems disappear. As Collision races toward its surprising conclusion, Nike’s particular solution for the Algerian refugees at sea might be his greatest sleight of hand yet.
Collision received the Radio Bremen Crime Novel Award 2015 and the German Crime Novel Award 2016. The book has been translated to English by Rachel Hildebrandt and Alexandra Roesch, and will be published in the US by Unnamed Press in 2017.
The reading will be followed by conversation between Kröger and Sukhdev Sandhu, who directs the Colloquium for Unpopular Culture at New York University.
Merle Kröger is the co-author and producer of the documentary films Day of the Sparrow (orig. Der Tag des Spatzen, 2010), Revision (2012), And-Ek Ghes... (2016), and Havarie (2016), all directed by Philip Scheffner. Since 2003, she has also published four novels combining documentary research, personal history, and political analysis with elements of crime literature.
Scheffner’s film Havarie, along with Revision and And-Ek Ghes..., will be screened at Anthology Film Archives on November 2 and 3 as part of the film program Philip Scheffner X 3.
Goethe-Institut New York
30 Irving Place
New York, NY 10003
Price: Free admission
+1 212 4398700