Panel Discussion Words with Writers

Word with Writers © Bradley Secker, Kat Kaufman, Katrin Ohlendorf, Melanie Hauke, Susanne Schleyer, Mattias Günter


Goethe-Institut New York

30 Irving Place
New York, NY 10003

Festival Neue Literatur

Selected students from Columbia University, New York University, Vassar College, Rutgers College and Hunter College take on Festival Neue Literatur authors in a lightning round of literary interviews.

Featuring authors Fatma Aydemir, Nava Ebrahimi, Ursula Fricker, Meral Kureyshi, Robert Prosser und Philipp Winkler as well as students Leonie Ettinger, Agathe Gindrey, Ashley LaMere, Bianca Oliva, Didi Tal and Steven Weinberg; moderated by festival curator Peter Blackstock

With special thanks to Professor Susan Bernofsky of Columbia University for her integral role in the organization of this event!

The theme of the 2018 Festival Neue Literature is Insider|Outsider. Each of us is an outsider in some way, but most of us also have privileges that give us access to different opportunities and worlds. The books featured this year explore questions of identity and belonging in a fracturing Europe and beyond, using race, religion, immigration status, politics, and even football hooliganism as lenses to explore contemporary society and the recent past.

Fatma Aydemir (Karlsruhe, 1986) studied German and American studies at Goethe-Universität in Frankfurt am Main. She lives in Berlin and has been an editor at the daily newspaper taz since 2012. She also writes articles for numerous magazines, including the music magazine Spex and the feminist Missy Magazine. Her first novel, Ellbogen, was published by the Carl Hanser Verlag in 2017. Ellbogen has been adapted for the stage by several theaters and was awarded the Klaus-Michael-Kühne-Prize at the Harbor Front Literature Festival.
Peter Blackstock is a senior editor at Grove Atlantic in New York, working on fiction and nonfiction, with a focus on international writing and books in translation.

Nava Ebrahimi (Teheran, 1978) studied Journalism and Economics in Cologne, Germany. Afterwards she worked as an editor for The Financial Times Germany and as a Middle East consultant for the German Office for Foreign Trade. Ebrahimi has published short stories in anthologies and magazines. In 2007, she reached the finals at the Berlin Open Mike which is the most important young authors competition in German-speaking Europe. She also participated in the 2013 class at Bavarias Writing Academy.  For her first novel, Sixteen Words, she received the Austrian Book Prize/Debut 2017. Nava Ebrahimi lives with her family in Graz, Austria, and is currently writing her second novel.

Ursula Fricker (Schaffhausen, 1965) trained as a social worker and taught theater studies. Her first novel was Fliehende Wasser (2004), which was awarded the prize for single best work by the Swiss Schiller Foundation, and a year’s writer-residency by the City of Zürich. In 2009 she published Das letzte Bild and in 2012 Ausser sich, which was nominated for the Swiss Book Prize in the same year. Lügen von gestern und heute was awarded the Brandenburgischen Kunstförderpreis in 2017.
Meral Kureyshi (Prizren, 1983) was born in former Yugoslavia and her parents, of Turkish origin, brought her and her two younger siblings to Switzerland in 1992. She has lived there since. She completed her studies at the Swiss Literary Institute in Biel and founded the Lyrikatelier (Lyric Studio) in Bern. Elefanten im Garten is her debut novel. In 2015 she was nominated for the Swiss Book Prize; in 2016 she got the Canton of Bern Prize for Literature.

Robert Prosser (Alpbach, 1983) lives in Tirol and Vienna. After having studied comparative studies, cultural and social anthropology, he spent a considerable time in Asia, England and the Arab world. Prosser is the Austrian curator of Babelsprech in charge of the funding of young German poetry. Prosser has received many prizes and stipends such as Grenzgänger-Stipendium of the Robert-Bosch-Stiftung in 2014 and the Aufenthaltsstipendium am Literarischen Colloquium Berlin 2014. His debut novel Geister und Tatoos was released in 2013.
Phillip Winkler (1986, raised in Hagenburg) has spent time in Kosovo, Albania, Serbia, and Japan. Winkler received the Joseph Heinrich Colbin Prize in 2008, and in 2015 the Literaturhaus Graz awarded him the Retzhof Prize for young authors based on excerpts from his unpublished novel, Hooligan, which went on to win the Aspekte Literature Prize for the best German-language debut in 2016. Hooligan was also shortlisted for the 2016 German Book Prize. Winkler lives in Leipzig, Germany.