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Festival Neue Literatur Hits New York City This Weekend

By Grace Moss

In years past, New York City’s only annual German-language literary festival, Festival Neue Literatur, has induced at least one die-hard Festival fan to tears when he couldn’t initially get in to the ever-popular Frühschoppen at Deutsches Haus New York University. This year, we’re hoping for just as much enthusiasm!

This year’s festival, spanning February 22-24, 2013, in locations throughout both Manhattan and Brooklyn, is jointly curated by translator Susan Bernofsky and journalist Claudia Steinberg, who have created two very enticing panels: “Closed Circuits: Shrunken Dystopias” on Saturday, February 23, at powerHouse Arena and “Breaking Away: Contemporary Travelogues,” on Sunday, February 24, at McNally Jackson Bookstore.

Each year, the festival features six up-and-coming German-language authors from Austria, Germany, and Switzerland. This year’s featured authors are Clemens Setz and Cornelia Travnicek from Austria, Leif Randt and Silke Scheuermann from Germany, and Tim Krohn and Ulrike Ulrich from Switzerland. These six German-speaking authors are joined by U.S. authors Joshua Ferris and Justin Taylor, who, incidentally, both live in New York.

The inaugural Friedrich Ulfers Prize will be awarded to Carol Brown Janeway at this year’s festival. The annual prize, awarded by Deutsches Haus at New York University and endowed by renowned scholar Professor Friedrich Ulfers, was created to award outstanding individuals who have championed the advancement of German-language literature in the United States.

Ms. Janeway was selected by a jury composed of representatives of the festival’s partner institutions and will be honored at the festival’s opening ceremony on February 21 at the Goethe-Institut New York. Ms. Janeway will receive $5,000, as well as a trophy sponsored by Swarovski Gems.

All festival events are free, in English, and open to the public.

For more information about the festival, including sample translations of the featured authors’ work, please visit www.festivalneueliteratur.org.

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