Ali Abdollahi, b. 1968 in Birjand in South Khorasan, Iran. Poet and translator. Studied German language and literature in Teheran. From 1993 to 2014 he presented German and Persian literature to the listeners of Radio Iran. Abdollahi has published seven books of his own poetry to date and many translations, including the poems of Erich Fried. Lives and writes in Iran.
Jörg-Uwe Albig, b. 1960 in Bremen. Studied art and music in Kassel, Germany. Albig began his literary career as a freelance journalist. He was editor at Stern and lived for two years in Paris as correspondent for a German art journal. He has been living as a freelance writer in Berlin since 1993. He writes for GEO, SZ Magazin, and others. His first novel, Velo, came out in 1999. It was followed by Land voller Liebe (2006), Berlin Palace (2010), and Ueberdog (2013), as well as the short story Eine Liebe in der Steppe (2017). His most recent roman à clef (according to the FAZ), Zornfried (2019), is about a fictitious right-wing poet and a group of neo-Nazis. In 2017 Albig was nominated for the Ingeborg Bachmann Prize.
Emily Carroll, b. 1983 in London, Canada. Carroll writes and illustrates award-winning comics. Her collection of horror comics, Through the Woods, earned her the coveted Eisner Award as well as the Ignatz Award and the British Fantasy Award. She has also published a graphic novel adaptation of Laurie Halse Anderson’s novel Speak and her new Baroque horror story When I Arrived at the Castle. She is renowned for her short online horror comics, in which she experiments with form and content. Carroll lives with her wife Kate Craig, a videogame artist, in Stratford, Ontario.
John Connolly, b. 1968 in Dublin, Ireland, where he also lives today. After studying journalism, Connolly worked for the Irish Times before dedicating himself fully to writing spinetingling, often slightly mystical, thrillers. Ever since his debut in 1999 with Every Dead Thing, he has counted among the most successful mystery authors worldwide. Alongside his prizewinning series featuring the New York ex-cop Charlie “Bird” Parker (the latest: A Book of Bones, 2019), he has published more than thirty novels, The Book of Lost Things (2006), a fantasy novel, and He (2017) a fictional biography of comedian Stan Laurel. He is also the author of two collections of horror stories, Nocturnes (2004) — originally written for BBC radio — and Night Music (2015). Connolly has been awarded a number of literary prizes for his work, including the Edgar, Shamus and Anthony awards, and a CWA Dagger.
Julia Ebner, b. 1991 in Vienna. Expert on extremism and terrorism. Research fellow at the Institute for Strategic Dialogue in London since 2017. Ebner works together with numerous government and policing organizations. She acts as a consultant on online extremism for the UN, NATO, and the World Bank, and writes regularly forThe Guardian and the Süddeutsche Zeitung. Her first book, The Rage: The Vicious Circle of Islamist and Far-Right Extremism (Tauris 2017) was a Spiegel bestseller in the German translation by Thomas Bertram. Her new book, Radikalisierungsmaschinen. Wie Extremisten die neuen Technologien nutzen und uns manipulieren (Radicalization Machines: How Extremists Use New Technology and Manipulate Us), was just released by Suhrkamp. In 2018 she received recognition from the Bruno Kreisky Prize for political books. Lives in London.
Sherko Fatah, b. 1964 in East Berlin to a Iraqi Kurdish father and a German mother. He grew up in the GDR and moved to West Berlin via Vienna with his family in 1975. Studied philosophy and art history. He has won many prizes for his literary work, most recently the Berlin Art Prize — Grand Prize from the Berlin Academy of Arts and the Adelbert von Chamisso Prize, both in 2015, as well as the Aspekte Literature Prize for his novel, Im Grenzland. He has been nominated for the Leipzig Book Fair Prize twice (2008 for Das dunkle Schiff, 2012 for Ein weißes Land) and was shortlisted for the German Book Prize in 2008.
Aminatta Forna, b. 1964 in Glasgow. Forna's parents were divorced. As a child she lived with her father in Sierra Leone. After he was executed in 1975, she was able to flee to her Scottish mother and spent her (pre-)teen years in Great Britain. Forna worked as a BBC journalist from 1989 to 1999, when she began to devote all her time to her own writing. Aminatta Forna has won many prizes and honors for her works—a memoir, The Devil that Danced on the Water (2002), and four novels, Ancestor Stones (2006), The Memory of Love (2010), The Hired Man (2013), and Happiness (2018). Among her prizes and awards are the Commonwealth Writers’ Prize (2011) and the Windham-Campbell Literature Prize (2014). In 2017, the Queen appointed her Officer of the Order of the British Empire. Aminatta Forna currently holds the Lannan Foundation Visiting Chair in Poetics at Georgetown University in Washington, D.C.
Wolfgang Görtschacher, b. 1960 in Linz. Görtschacher is Assistant Professor in the Department of English and American Studies at the University of Salzburg. He has written extensively on contemporary British literature, mysteries and thrillers, and translation studies (esp. Erich Fried, Ilse Aichinger, and Michael Hamburger). He is also a publisher at Poetry Salzburg, an editor of literary journals and a translator of contemporary poetry. President of the Austrian Association of University Teachers of English.
Josef Haslinger, b. 1955 in Zwettl, Lower Austria. Author and professor for literary aesthetics at the German Institute for Literature in Leipzig. His political thriller, Opernball, about a fictitious terrorist attack on Vienna's opera ball, won him international fame in 1995. He then published another novel, Das Vaterspiel (2000), a short story collection, Zugvögel (2006), and an autobiographical report of the 2004 tsunami in Southeast Asia, Phi Phi Island (2007). In 2011, he wrote a novel based on the true story of a Czech national hockey team player who became a victim of communist terror, Jáchymov. Haslinger has won many prizes, most recently the Vienna Decoration of Honor in Gold (Goldenen Verdienstzeichen des Landes Wien). His new book, Mein Fall, is slated to come out in early 2020 in S. Fischer. Lives in Vienna and Leipzig.
Christoph Hein, b. 1944 in Heinzendorf / Silesia. After the end of WW2 the family moved to Bad Düben near Leipzig where Hein grew up. From 1967 studies in philosophy and logic at the University of Leipzig, 1971 graduation at the Berlin Humboldt University. From 1974 to 1979 Hein worked as a resident writer at the Volksbühne Berlin. His literary breakthrough came in 1982/1983 with his novella Der fremde Freund (in Western Germany Drachenblut, English transl. The Distant Lover). In later works Christoph Hein repeatedly used the theme of the uncertain protagonist trying to fit into an increasingly individualised and seemingly cold world, e. g. Der Tangospieler (1989, English transl. The Tango Player) and Landnahme (2004, English transl. Settlement). Since his novel Willenbrock (2000, English transl. Willenbrock) Christoph Hein’s works have been published by Suhrkamp. The author was awarded numerous literary prizes, e. g. Uwe Johnson Prize, Stefan Heym Prize and the Austrian State Prize for European Literature.
Joseph Incardona, b. 1969 in Lausanne, Switzerland. The writer and playwright has published numerous novels, short stories, plays, and comics and received numerous awards. In 2014, together with Cyril Bron, he directed the road movie Milky Way about a trip through France to the Belgium coast. In 2015, Incardona was awarded the renowned Grand Prix de littérature policière for his thriller Derrière les panneaux, il y a des hommes (2015). In the meantime, that noir novel has become a classic of the genre. Incardona teaches at the Swiss Literature Institute, Biel and lives in Geneva.
Jeong Yu-jeong, b. 1966 in Hampyeong, South Korea. Jeong’s psychological thrillers come with a best-seller guarantee in her home country. Before becoming “South Korea’s Stephen King,” as she is often known, she worked an ER nurse and as an appraiser for the national health insurance. Her first published book was the YA novel Nae insaeng-ui spring camp (2007), winner of the Segye Youth Literary Award. Her breakthrough came with Chilnyeonui bam (2011), a thriller about a father who becomes a murderer against his will. Her most recent novel is Jong-ui Giwon (2016), a sinister psychopathic mother-son story. Jeong You-Jeong lives in Gwangju, South Korea.
Claudius Lazzeroni, b. 1965 in Munich. As a trained photographer and graduated media artist as well as the Creative Director of Pixelpark he was instrumental in promoting a new understanding for the use of multimedia with companies such as Oetker, Langnese or Mannesmann. His own company „im stall“ for several years attracted personalities working in the field or art on the verge to commerce. Since 1999 he has been a Professor for Interfacedesign at the Folkwang University of Arts. Lazzeroni is passionate about his teachings regarding the design principles of the electromechanical workshop built up by him as well as the development of his sonographs. Lives in the Pyrenees and in Langenberg.
Aurélie Maurin, b. 1975 in Paris. Study of literature and linguistics in Paris. Since 2000, she has been living in Berlin as a literary translator, event organizer, and editor (e.g. of the VERSschmuggel series in Das Wunderhorn publishing house and of the journal La mer gelée). Since 2017 she has been director of the Deutscher Übersetzerfond’s TOLEDO program. Most recent translation into French: Thomas Rosenlöcher, L’homme qui croyait encore aux cigognes (Paris: Nouvel Attila 2018).
Friederike Mayröcker, b. 1924 in Vienna. Her first works of literature were written in 1939. In 1954, she met the Austrian author Ernst Jandl. They became close friends and later life partners. Her first book was published in 1956. It was followed by poems and prose, short stories and audioplays, children's books and theater scripts. Since 1975, she has published with Suhrkamp. Her many awards include the Georg Büchner Prize (2001) and most recently the Austrian Book Prize (2016) and the Günter Eich Prize (2017). Most recent publications: études (2013, English trans. Donna Stonecipher, Seagull Books 2020), cahier (2014), fleurs (2016), and Pathos und Schwalbe (2018). Lives in Vienna.
Steffen Mensching, b. 1958 in (Eastern) Berlin. Cultural studies at the HU Berlin. Mensching has worked as a freelance writer, actor, clown and director for many years becoming well known for the clown programmes he put on stage with his partner Hans-Eckardt Wenzel. Since season 2008/2009 Steffen Mensching has been appointed as director of the German Theatre Rudolstadt. His first collection of poems Erinnerung an eine Milchglasscheibe was published in 1979. His recent publications include the novels Jacobs Leiter (2003) and Lustigs Flucht (2005). In 2001 he edited the Traumbuch des Exils of German writer and communist Rudolf Leonhard under the title In derselben Nacht. In 2018 Schermanns Augen was published to widespread critical acclaim. Mensching is a member of the German PEN; he was awarded with the Heinrich Heine Prize of the GDR (shortly before its dissolution) in November 1989, as well as the German Cabaret Prize and the Kabarettpreis of the city of Nürnberg.
Rainer Merkel, b. 1964 in Cologne. He studied psychology and art history. From 2008 to 2009 Merkel worked for Cap Anamur at Liberia’s only psychiatric hospital. His debut novel Das Jahr der Wunder (2001, The Year of Miracles) was awarded the Prize of the Jürgen Ponto foundation. His publisher S. Fischer published his novels Lichtjahre entfernt (2009, Light Years Away) – shortlisted for the German Book Prize –, Bo (2013), Stadt ohne Gott (2018, City without God) as well as the reportages Das Unglück der anderen. Kosovo, Liberia, Afghanistan (2012, The Misfortunes of Others: Kososvo, Liberia, Afghanistan) and Go Ebola Go. Eine Reise nach Liberia (2014, Go Ebola Go. A Journey to Liberia). In 2013 Rainer Merkel was awarded the Erich Fried Prize. Lives in Berlin.
Teresa Präauer, b. 1979 in Linz, is an author and a fine artist. In 2012, she published — with Wallstein, publisher of all her books — the novel Für den Herrscher aus Übersee, which won the Aspekte Prize for Literature. In the fall of 2014, the artists' novel Johnny und Jean came out, earning her the Droste Literary Advancement Award. Her third novel, Oh Schimmi, appeared in 2016, a “perfectly-formed wild novel [...], daring, disturbing, very funny and also tragic” (Die Zeit). In 2018, these novels were followed by her narrative essay, Tier werden. Teresa Präauer was writer in residence at Grinnell College, USA in 2017. In the same year, she was awarded the Erich Fried Prize. Lives in Vienna.
Claudia Rankine, b. 1963 in Kingston, Jamaica. In 1970, Rankine's parents migrated to New York City. Rankine received an MFA from Columbia University and is the prizewinning author of five books of poetry, including Don’t Let Me Be Lonely (2004). She has also written two plays and created video works in collaboration with John Lucas, incl. Situation One. Her mixed-genre poetic essay Citizen: An American Lyric (2014) won numerous prizes including the Los Angeles Times Book Prize and the 2015 National Book Critics Circle Award in Poetry as well as the Forward Poetry Prize in 2016. Rankine is also the editor of numerous anthologies. In 2016 she founded the The Racial Imaginary Institute (TRII) and was honored in the same year with a MacArthur Genius grant. Currently, Rankine is the Frederick Iseman Professor of Poetry at Yale University. She lives in New Haven, Connecticut.
Kathrin Röggla, b. 1971 in Salzburg. First publication 1990 after her study of German and publishing at the University of Salzburg. Röggla often works across media, incorporating documentary aspects into her work as well as humor and irony. Her language is experimental and self-critical and explores the orality of written language. She is the recipient of numerous literary prizes, including the Arthur Schnitzler Prize (2012) and the Nestroy for best play (2011). She is a member of the German Academy for Language and Literature in Darmstadt, and the Berlin Academy of Arts, where she has acted as Vice President since 2015. Lives in Berlin.
Valentina Di Rosa, b. 1964 in Naples. Teaches German literature and the theory and practice of literary translation at the University of Naples L'Orientale. Di Rosa also translates literary works, mostly from the twentieth and twenty-first centuries. Her translations of poetry, plays, and novels include texts by Lukas Bärfuss, Durs Grünbein, Christoph Hein, Heiner Müller, Lutz Seiler, Raoul Schrott, Ingo Schulze, and Jan Wagner. Lives in Naples and Berlin.
Joe Sacco, b. 1960 in Kirkop, Malta. Sacco defines himself as a graphic journalist. He is considered the founder of comic journalism and a “genius of the form” (Neue Zürcher Zeitung). He has won multiple prizes for his ground-breaking works such as Palestine (2001) and Footnotes in Gaza (2009), including the American Book Award, the Eisner Award, the Los Angeles Times Book Prize Graphic Novel Award and the Ridenhour Book Prize. His newest novel, Paying the Land, slated for 2020, will deal with the uprooting of the indigenous peoples of northwestern Canada. Currently Sacco is collaborating with journalist Chris Hedges on a book about poverty in the United States. Lives in Portland, Oregon.
Robert Schindel, b. 1944 in Bad Hall. Author of poetry and prose. In the 1960s, following the example of the Berlin student movement, he was one of the founders of the Kommune Wien, the Vienna Commune, and of the literary journal Hundsblume. He has lived as a freelance writer since 1986, and has a comprehensive body of literary work. His first novel, Gebürtig (Born-Where), was an international success. Member of the Freie Akademie der Künste Hamburg and of the German Academy for Language and Literature. In 2009, he founded the Institute of Language Arts at the University of Applied Arts Vienna, which he directed until 2012. His many honors and awards include the Heinrich Mann Prize (2014). Lives in Vienna.
Ariadne von Schirach, b. 1978 in Munich. Studied philosophy, psychology, and sociology, first at the Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität in Munich, and from 2000 at the Freie Universität Berlin and Humboldt University, Berlin. Ariadne von Schirach teaches philosophy and Chinese thought at the Berlin University of the Arts, the HFBK in Hamburg, and the Danube University Krems. She works as a freelance journalist and critic and has gained renown for her non-fiction books, Der Tanz um die Lust (The Dance Around Desire) (2007) and Du sollst nicht funktionieren. Für eine neue Lebenskunst (You don't have to function: For a new art of living) (2014). In 2016, Ich und Du und Müllers Kuh. Kleine Charakterkunde für alle, die sich und andere besser verstehen wollen came out (The Butcher the Baker the Candlestick Maker: A short lesson on characterology for everyone who wants to better understand themselves and others). In 2019, Schirach published her new book, Die psychotische Gesellschaft Wie wir Angst und Ohnmacht überwinden (The Psychotic Society: How we overcome fear and helplessness).
Arild Vange, b. 1955 in Bergen, Norway. Author, translator, and performance artist. Her debut novel, Ene og Alene, came out in 1990. She is also the author of eight volumes of poetry (two in collaboration with artist Per Formo), including annerledes enn (2010, German 2012) and Livet i luftene, Fortelling. Sang (2018) She has translated Franz Kafka, Thomas Kling, Brigitte Oleschinski, Yoko Tawada, Georg Trakl, Anja Utler, and Peter Waterhouse into Norwegian. Lives in Trondheim.
Olivia Vieweg, b. 1987 in Jena. Studied visual communication in Weimar. She was co-editor of the manga anthology Paper Theatre, for which she received the ICOM Prize in 2010. In 2012, she received a comic fellowship from Egmont for her script for Antoinette kehrt zurück, the comic came out in 2014. With Suhrkamp she published the graphic novels Huck Finn (2013), and Schwere See, mein Herz (2015). Endzeit (2018) and Antigone (late 2019) were published by Carlsen. In 2015, she was awarded the Tankred Dorst Prize for her screenplay adaptation of Endzeit (Ever After). The feature film, directed by Carolina Hellsgård, was a surprise hit at the 2018 Toronto International Film Festival.
Dima Wannous, b. 1982 in Damascus, daughter of the political playwright, Saadallah Wannous. She studied French literature at the University of Damascus and the Sorbonne, and went on to study translation in Lyon. Wannous subsequently lived in Beirut, where she worked as a print, online, and radio journalist for many media outlets including the dailies Al-Hayat and As-Safir and the Lebanese web magazine Al-Modon. Her collection of short stories Tafâsîl appeared in 2007. Larissa Bender’s translation of her debut novel Al-Khaifoun (2007), was shortlisted for the German Litprom Literature prize in 2018. The novel was also shortlisted for the International Prize for Arabic Fiction. Wannous currently lives in London.
Chris Ware, b. 1967 in Omaha, Nebraska, USA. Chris Ware is the author of the much-lauded Jimmy Corrigan: the Smartest Kid on Earth (2001), winner of the Guardian First Book Award, and of the style-bending innovative Building Stories (2012), “not only the apex of his work to date, but also one of the most important artworks of this still-young twenty-first century” (Thomas von Steinaecker in Die Welt). Chris Ware was not only the first comic artist to be invited to the Whitney Biennale in New York (2002), he has also exhibited in the Museum of Contemporary Art in Chicago (2006). His brand-new experimental masterpiece, Rusty Brown, Part I, is an interactive play with time and space that enters diverse levels of consciousness and realities (Penguin Random House 2019).