Festival Neue Literatur 2017

Festival Neue Literatur has been rolling around every winter (just when we most need cheering up) for eight years now. It’s a great little festival that brings 6 fantastic but not-well-known-in-English German-language writers from Austria, Germany, and Switzerland to New York for a great series of events. I curated or co-curated the festival for three of its eight years, so can attest to how much more relaxing it is to just sit in the audience and listen to the great stories that other people have scrambled to find and put on stage for your entertainment. This year’s curator is Grove editor Peter Blackstock, who certainly knows his way around a German-language book, and this year’s theme is Queer as Volk – so there’s a focus on writing that celebrates the diversity of LGBTQ experiences. What’s more, the entire festival is held in English (the point being to make these great authors accessible to a NYC audience), and you can catch them in various configurations. I hope you’ll check it out! This year’s authors are Jürgen Bauer and Marlen Schachinger from Austria, Fabian Hischmann and Antje Rávic Strubel from Germany, and Zora del Buono and Simon Froehling from Switzerland. A reader containing English-language excerpts from all their books can be found on the festival website. They’ll be joined in the course of the festival by Darryl Pinckney, Francine Prose, John Freeman, Rivka Galchen, Sara Khalili, John Keene, Valeria Luiselli, Michel S. Moushabeck, Eileen Myles, and Translationista (talking translation, of course). For a complete listing of events, please visit the Festival Neue Literatur website, and note that while all the events in the festival are free and open to the public, some of them are sure to book up in advance (esp. Friday night and the midday events on Saturday and Sunday, which are in limited-size venues), so I highly recommend that you reserve your seats now to make sure you’ll get in. See you there!

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