Wednesday, 14 March 2012

From Germany to NZ: Inka Parei in Wellington on 23rd March

German writer Inka Parei has been blogging from a campervan on the South Island as part of a mobile writer’s residency sponsored by the Goethe-Institut. You can read about her travels so far here. Inka’s first novel in English-language translation The Shadow Boxing Woman was published by Seagull last year. Inka and her translator Katy Derbyshire were recently nominated for the Best Translated Book Award. Inka’s second and third novels are also being translated by Katy for Seagull Books, and you can get a preview in the current issue of Sport.

Come along and meet Inka in Wellington on Friday 23rd March. This time the Temporary Literaturhaus will be “housed” by the Goethe-Institut in Wellington. Join us at 17.30 for a glass of wine before we get going at 18.00. Please RSVP by 21st March to

Venue: Goethe-Institut, 150 Cuba Street
RSVP by 21st March to

Sunday, 11 March 2012

Jenny Erpenbeck in Wellington

“For a time this lake would hold up its mirror to the sky amid the Brandenburg hills, it would lie smooth between the oaks, alders and pines that were growing once more, and much later, after human beings appeared, it was given a name by them: M√§rkisches Meer.”
 Jenny Erpenbeck, Visitation, tr. Susan Bernofsky

The German title of Jenny Erpenbeck’s most recent novel is Heimsuchung, a word that contains the idea of home, of searching, of searching for home, of haunting, of punishment and affliction, all of which echo through the story of a house on the shore of a Brandenburg lake, built on a plot of land with a dark past. The English title Visitation also evokes visits, visitors and being visited, picking up on the ways in which the house is haunted by the passing of people and of time. Time and its passage are also the elusive substance of Jenny Erpenbeck’s  collection Dinge, die verschwinden, a book of farewells that explores disappearances of various kinds: of youth, memories, objects, and always, inescapably, of the present. An extract, translated by Susan Bernofsky, is included in the current issue of Sport. Wellingtonians can listen to Jenny Erpenbeck in conversation with Karen Leeder (Professor of German at Oxford University and also an expert on literary spectres and hauntings) at her Writers & Readers Week session on Monday 12 March. Karen will also be chairing a session on the art of literary translation with Jenny Erpenbeck and translators and poets Michael Hulse and Marco Sonzogni on Tuesday 13 March.

PS. Susan Bernofsky was recently awarded the prestigious and princely (15,000 Euro) Hermann Hesse Prize for her translation of Siddharta. Congratulations Susan!

Tuesday, 6 March 2012

Mobile German Writer in NZ

German writer Inka Parei landed in New Zealand just in time for the “weather bomb” that announced the start of March. She will be travelling around the country in a campervan as part of a mobile writer’s residency sponsored by the Goethe-Institut. Readers will be able to follow her journey in German, English and Te Reo here. Inka recently appeared at the Festival Neue Literature in New York with five other contemporary German-language writers. She is the author of three novels, most recently Die K√§ltezentrale (for further info and an extract in English see the Festival Neue Literatur’s website). Her debut, published in English as The Shadow Boxing Woman by Seagull last year, has just been nominated for the Best Translated Book Award. Katy Derbyshire, the book’s English-language translator, is currently working on Inka’s second novel, to be published in English by Seagull as What Darkness Was (you can get a preview in the brand new issue of Sport).

Inka will be speaking about her work and her NZ travels at a Temporary Literaturhaus event in Wellington on Friday 23rd March.