Saturday, April 2, 2022

Literaturhaus Wien Zieglergasse 26a, 1070 Wien

2:00 pm

Jennifer Daniel: „Das Gutachten“ (The Report) | “Earth Unplugged”

World premiere

Jennifer Daniel, Foto © Josua Dunst

Who do you think you are?”
“At least I’m risking something for our ideals!”

Comic album presentation with reading and discussion
Jennifer Daniel (Germany): Das Gutachten (Carlsen 2022; The Report) und Earth Unplugged (Jaja 2014)
Moderation:  Matthias Wieland (translator, moderator und comic reader)

Summer 1977: the young Red Army Faction supporter Miriam Becker dies in her car, with no sign of what or who caused the accident. Mr. Martin, a low-level forensics employee, sets off to find the guilty party. In the end, his search leads him to his own carefully repressed past. With impressive narrative skill and magnificent graphics, Jennifer Daniel weaves historical milestones of recent German history into her new work.
At the festival, Jennifer Daniel also takes the opportunity to speak about her prizewinning diploma project, Earth Unplugged, which explores the question of what would happen if there were suddenly no more electricity on Earth, turning the cities into dark danger zones and the countryside into the only place where people can still find something to eat.

Event in German

Jennifer Daniel, b. 1986 in Bonn, Germany, studied communication design and today lives in Düsseldorf as a graphic designer, illustrator, and lecturer. She cofounded the atelier collective Studio Rabotti, is a member of the artists’ group Wolpatinga and her work has regularly been exhibited in group exhibitions. Her debut, Earth Unplugged (Jaja Verlag, 2012), was nominated for the Max and Moritz Prize, the highest award for German-language graphic literature.

4:00 pm

Deb Olin Unferth: “Barn 8”

European premiere

Deb Olin Unferth, Foto © Nick Berard

Please note: The event had to be cancelled due to the author’s illness


“What do you do with one million chickens?
Scare the Americans a little.


Book premiere and discussion
Deb Olin Unferth: Barn 8 (And Other Stories 2020) | Happy Green Family, trans. Barbara Schaden here(Wagenbach 2022)

One disaffected auditor, one disenchanted half orphan, four hundred and twenty-one vegan extremists, sixty trucks, and nine hundred thousand grumpy layer hens waiting to be liberated. Deb Olin Unferth’s second novel, Barn 8, lures the reader into a nail-biting adventure. A clandestine action is planned to free almost one million hens from a ginormous egg farm in backwater America. But where can they go?
Barn 8 is a beautiful, urgent, politically charged book with a huge heart, and while the plot is sometimes madcap, well, so is love,” is what the renowned New York Times Book Review had to say about Deb Olin Unferth’s novel.

Event in Englisch

Deb Olin Unferth, b. 1968, grew up in Chicago, USA. She studied philosophy and began writing while working in a shelter for homeless women. Her work, which includes long and short fiction, a graphic novel, and memoirs, has been characterized as “wickedly comic and cutting edge”. Active in the movement for the reform of American penal institutions, she founded the university program Pen City Writers in southern Texas, which organizes creative writing courses for prisoners. She is currently teaching creative writing as the University of Texas, Austin, where she lives with her husband and her dog. Her most recent novel is Barn 8 (Graywolf Press 2020).

6:00 pm

Nate Powell: “Save It for Later”

Austrian premiere

Nate Powell, Foto © Ben Raines

You’ve got to be FAIR!!
We’ve got to stand up!!

Comic album presentation with reading and discussion

Nate Powell (USA): Save It for Later (Abrams ComicArts; Carlsen 2021)
Moderation:  Matthias Wieland (translator, moderator und comic reader)

Nate Powell’s graphic essay, Save It for Later, celebrated by readers and critics alike, is subtitled “Promises, Parenthood, and the Urgency of Protest.”
In his most recent work, the prizewinning comic artist talks about raising two young daughters during Donald Trump’s presidency. He wonders how he can explain to them the increasingly vociferous nationalist voices in America. Save It for Later is a personal and political chronicle of our times, beginning in 2016 with Trump’s election to President of the United States, and covering the global protests after the George Floyd murder in May 2020 as well as the 2020 presidential campaigns during the start of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Event in English

Nate Powell, b. 1978 in Little Rock, Arizona, USA is the first cartoonist to win the National Book Award. He began self-publishing at the age of 14, and graduated in cartooning at the renowned School of Visual Arts in New York City. Powell’s work has been awarded with the Robert F. Kennedy Book Award, three Eisner Awards, and two Ignatz Awards, among others. Alongside his work as a cartoonist, he ran the underground record label Harlan Records for 16 years, and played in two punk bands. To date, his books Save it for Later (Abrams, 2021; German: Carlson, 2021) and The Silence of Our Friends (Roaring Book Press, 2021; Das Schweigen unserer Freunde, Egmont Graphic Novel, 2013) have been translated into German. He lives with his family in Bloomington, Indiana.

8:00 pm

Guillermo Arriaga: “Save the Fire”

European premiere

Guillermo Arriaga, Foto © Cannarsa Opale Leemage

This land is divided: between those who are afraid and those who are angry.


Book premiere and discussion
Guillermo Arriaga (Mexico): Save the Fire (Salvar el fuego, Alfaguara 2020 | Das Feuer retten, trans. by Matthias Strobel (Klett-Cotta 2022)
Moderation: Wolfgang Popp (culture journalist and author)
Interpreter: Birgit Weilguny

With Salvar el fuego, the internationally renowned Mexican author, screenplay writer, movie director and producer Guillermo Arriaga has endowed us with a novel that connects both narratively and thematically to his earlier novels and movies. The story unfolds over seven hundred pages through four voices—a dancer and choreographer, a man who has committed patricide, his brother, and a hit man for a drug cartel. In flashbacks and previews, first parallel and then intertwined, they speak of violence and love, of guilt and redemption.
But the novel’s main character is Mexican society itself. Arriaga vehemently attacks the country’s social injustices and holds up to readers the carnage that lies in the chasm between poor and rich.

Reading in Spanish with German supertitles | Discussion in Spanish interpreted into German by Helga Lion

Guillermo Arriaga, b. 1958 in Mexico City, Mexico, is an author of novels and screenplays, a director, a producer, and a hunter. For him, the latter is the most defining identity. After multiple injuries, he was forced to give up his career as a professional athlete and went on to write the scripts for the Death Trilogy (Amores Perros, 21 Grams and Babel), winning awards at Cannes and the Academy Awards, and elsewhere. He has written many other screenplays and eight novels. In many of his works, he interweaves parallel narratives that deal with human and inhuman desires. His most recent novel, Salver al Fuego (German: Das Feuer retten, Klett-Cotta, 2022), again asks what makes a life worth living. Guillermo Arriaga lives in Mexico City with his wife and their two children.

Literaturhaus Wien

Zieglergasse 26a, 1070 Wien