Wednesday, 25 January 2012

Festival Neue Literatur

It's nearly time for the Festival Neue Literatur, the perfect treat for book-loving New Yorkers! A host of Teutonic daffodils will delight your literary senses for three days in February: Germans Larissa Boehning and Inka Parei, Austrian authors Linda Stift and Erwin Uhrmann and Monica Cantieni and Catalin Dorian Florescu from Switzerland. Top celebrity moderators Daniel Kehlmann and Liesl Schillinger will ask them probing questions. And there will even be some writers you have actually heard of, to wit Chris Adrian and Francisco Goldman, to entice you to turn up in the first place. Oooh, and there's a literary brunch with "traditional German fare". Everything is free - even the food - and it's all in English!

Opening this fine example of how to organise a literary festival is my favourite event. Now if I were in New York I'd obviously go to all of the readings and eat the traditional fare and hang out with the authors in bars afterwards and all that, but this is the one I'd be most excited about: How German Is It?  Literary Voices from Germany, Austria and Switzerland. A Workshop in Collaboration with Columbia Students on 10 February at Colombia University Deutsches Haus. I think it's a great idea to have graduate students paired up with writers, and I also happen to have met two of them. So I know that they're agonising over the authors' work as we speak, coming up with totally new discussion points that nobody has ever thought of before. Please go along and show your support if you're interested in good writing. I know you'll enjoy it.

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