Pretty high up on the list of things I like better about February than slushy-salty sidewalks is Festival Neue Literatur, a long-weekend festival that brings six talented younger German-language writers to New York for readings, discussions, and a delicious brunch at NYU’s Deutsches Haus. The festival’s been going on for six years now. For three of them I served as curator, so I know how much work it is to put something like this together. Now that I can just watch from the sidelines, I like the festival even more. Literary translator Tess Lewis has been doing a wonderful job with curating, and the festival is bringing some really interesting writers this year: Marjana Gaponenko and Anna Weidenholzer from Austria, Navid Kermani and Matthias Nawrat from Germany, and Jonas Lüscher and Monique Schwitter from Switzerland. I won’t detail the entire program here; you’ll find all that information on the FnL website. The short version is: an afternoon of conversations with the authors (in English) at Columbia University’s Deutsches Haus on Friday afternoon (open to the public, and followed by a reception); and two events each on Saturday and Sunday with the festival authors joined by local authors Adam Haslett, Eric Banks, Tiphanie Yanique and Eric Jarosinski. Please check the listings for venues, times and RSVP information. And note in particular that the Sunday brunch always books up far in advance, so reserve your seat and plate now!
In short, this festival is one of the most fun things can can possibly happen to you in Feburary. You don’t want to miss the chance to improve your month.
I’ll leave you with a word of welcome from the festival’s director, Brittany Hazelwood: