Goethe Book Club Goethe Book Club Goes Digital: the things i am thinking while smiling politely...

Sharon Dodua Otoo - Book Club © edition assemblage

Tue, 04/13/2021

Online

(EN 2012) by Sharon Dodua Otoo, translated into German by Mirjam Nuenning (DE 2017)

A virtual book club discussion of the things i am thinking while smiling politely... / die dinge, die ich denke, während ich höflich lächle... (2012) by Sharon Dodua Otoo, translated into German by Mirjam Nuenning in 2017

Read and discuss works by contemporary German authors in this series hosted by the Goethe-Institut. All books can be read in recent English translation or in the German original; our discussion will be in English. Led by local German professor Amanda Sheffer (The Catholic University of America), this book club focuses on contemporary fiction and will explore experiences and thoughts about the text.

In cooperation with the Department of Modern Languages and Literatures at the Catholic University of America.

Please Note: In order to participate in the online discussion (carried out over Zoom), registrants must obtain access to the novel on their own. Hard copies of the novel can be ordered through multiple vendors online; the eBook is also available for download to Kindle, iPad, and other digital reading platforms.

the things i am thinking while smiling politely... / die dinge, die ich denke, während ich höflich lächle... (2012) by Sharon Dodua Otoo, translated into German by Mirjam Nuenning in 2017

This is the story of the decline and break-up of a marriage as well as the consequences for close family and friends.

the things i am thinking while smiling politely... is the story of the decline and break-up of a marriage as well as the consequences for close family and friends. Ama loses her sista, Kareem learns to mistrust a good friend, the siblings Ash and Beth have to fight for their mother's affection, Till and his wife drift away from each other... Sensitively, honestly and with a special sense of humor, the woman with all these roles describes how she rediscovers herself - and not only in the positive sense.

Following years of activist work in the Black German community, Sharon Dodua Otoo continues to pursue empowerment as a theme, this time in the field of literature. Sharon weaves her observations on everyday racism and privilege into the story of a Black British woman whose marriage breaks down.

Source: rootsofcompassion.org  
RSVP Sharon Dodua Otoo is an author and a political activist.

She writes prose and essays and is editor of the English-language book series Witnessed (edition assemblage). Her first novellas the things i am thinking while smiling politely and Synchronicity were published in German translation by S. Fischer Verlag in 2017. Otoo won the Ingeborg Bachmann Prize in 2016 with the text Herr Gröttrup setzt sich hin. She gave the inaugural speech at the 2020 Festival of German Language Literature which was published by Verlag Heyn.

Her first novel Adas Raum is written in German and will be published in February 2021 by S. Fischer Verlag. Otoo is politically active with the registered associations Initiative Black People in Germany and Phoenix.

She lives with her family in Berlin.

Source: Sharon Otoo

Discussion of Otoo's work will take place via Zoom on Tuesday, April 13, at 6:30 pm Eastern. Please RSVP via Eventbrite in order to receive discussion prompts and the Zoom invite link. Discussion prompts from moderator Dr. Amanda Sheffer will be emailed to all participants RSVP'd via Eventbrite in advance of the discussion. The Zoom invite and additional directions/tips for accessing the Zoom discussion will be emailed to all participants no less than 48 hours before the discussion begins. The discussion will take place in English. 

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