Conversation Authors in Conversation: Melissa Eddy & Alexander Osang

Eddy/Osang Melissa Eddy©privat/Alexander Osang©Felix Rettberg

Thu, 03/25/2021


In the next installment of our series “Authors in Conversation,” Melissa Eddy, the Berlin Correspondent for The New York Times, will meet Alexander Osang, who worked as New York Correspondent for the German magazine Der Spiegel for seven years. When Melissa Eddy, a native of Minnesota, moved to Berlin in 2005, Angela Merkel was sworn into office. Alexander Osang was born in East Berlin and covered the events in the years after the reunification for the Berliner Zeitung, where he swiftly became chief reporter. By the time Melissa Eddy arrived in Berlin, he was already reporting from New York and later from Tel Aviv. Since Osang returned to his hometown in 2020, both authors have been living there but never met. Based on their intertwined biographies and writing, Melissa Eddy and Alexander Osang will talk about experiencing history on an individual level as well as reporting about it from a journalist’s perspective. Or, as Alexander Osang has done in his latest novel, about describing history from an individual perspective.

Melissa Eddy Melissa Eddy©privat Melissa Eddy is the Berlin Correspondent for The New York Times, a position she has held since January 2012. Before that, she covered Germany for The Associated Press, arriving in Frankfurt in 2000. She moved to Berlin the year that Angela Merkel was sworn into office and has documented all four of her governments. In addition German politics, she has focused on Europe's debt crisis; the Energiewende, migration and immigration, the rise of anti-Semitism and the strains in the n the transatlantic relationship. A Minnesota native fluent in German and French, she came to Germany as a Fulbright scholar in 1996. She launched her career in journalism at the AP's Vienna bureau in 1997, covering the crisis in Kosovo.

Alexander Osang Alexander Osang©Felix Rettberg Alexander Osang was born in 1962 in East Berlin. He studied journalism in Leipzig and worked in the years after reunification for the Berliner Zeitung, where he swiftly became chief reporter. In 1999, he went to New York as a correspondent for Der Spiegel for seven years before returning to his home town. Now one of Germany’s most prominent journalists, he published his first collection of articles in 1992, Aufsteiger – Absteiger (Winners – Losers). The regularly-published collections of his reports and columns are mainly concerned with social developments in Eastern Germany since 1989. Osang’s first novel, Die Nachrichten (2000; The News), which was adapted for the cinema to great success in 2005, is also guided by this interest. The book is about the television host Jan Landers, born in the former GDR, who works his way into the »Tagesschau« studio in Hamburg, but goes on to learn that he will never entirely fit into the West German (media) system.  In his subsequent literary work, Osang distances himself from the East-West themes. What remains is his preference for characters who are in danger of failing or of losing themselves in unexpected developments. Osang has won numerous prizes for his journalistic work, including the Theodor Wolff Prize and the Egon Erwin Kisch Prize for the best German-language report (which he has won three times). In 2009, he was named »Reporter of the Year«. Osang lives in Berlin.