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Festival Neue Literatur 2021

November 11-14 | Virtual and Hybrid Events

This year marks the 11th anniversary of Festival Neue Literatur (November 11–14), the first and only festival to spotlight German-language and U.S. fiction together.

Now entering its second decade, highlighting important work from Austria, Germany, Switzerland, and the U.S., the theme of the 2021 festival is “Turn and Face the Strange.” The writers and publishing luminaries featured this year are Anna Baar, Joshua Cohen, Isabel Fargo Cole, Judith Keller, Helen Phillips, Benjamin Quaderer, Sasha Marianna Salzmann, and Ivna Žic. For the first time in festival history, an author from Liechtenstein joins the lineup.

The eleventh edition of the Festival Neue Literatur invites authors and attendees alike to Turn and Face the Strange. The books featured this year explore the strangeness, uncanniness, and eeriness that sometimes lurks just beneath the surface of daily life and can break out full force in times of change—whether large or small, internal or external, real or imagined, spatial or temporal. We start with out-of-body experiences, the loneliness of a con-man in a tiny country, a lost twin, time travel in and out of complicated pasts and no less complicated presents, poisonous bees, a miracle or two, deer-headed intruders, along with a series of far-fetched women—and then things get really strange.

We understand the world through language. This year’s authors twist and turn it to tame the unfamiliar and turn the familiar inside out, expanding—even deepening—our horizons.


*All events are free of charge and in English.

Words With Writers | Friday, November 12 at 12:00 PM | Virtual Event

New York’s brightest students take on Festival Neue Literatur authors in a lightning round of literary speed-dating. Featuring all six German-language authors and was moderated by festival curator, and translator Alta L. Price. > Details

The Author’s Voice | Friday, November 12 at 6:00 PM | Virtual Event

The six German-language authors of Festival Neue Literatur pair up with past participants of Festival Neue Literatur to give a sampling from their work in both the original and English-language translation, providing a taste of new writing from Austria, Germany, and Switzerland.> Details


Poisoned Roots | Saturday, November 13 at 1:00 PM | Virtual Event

The after-effects of war—hot or cold—reverberate through generations. This panel will explore how experiences of war shape even generations and societies who believe they’ve been spared. This is nothing new: as Homer warned, “Beware the toils of war . . . the huge dragnet sweeping up the world.” Can literature build antibodies by bringing those toxins to light? > Details

Who are You Calling Strange?: How Translation Can Challenge Established Norms and Narratives | Saturday, November 13 at 4:00 PM | Goethe-Institut New York: Hybrid Event

The festival’s signature translation event returns to explore how translation can refine and even redefine dominant historical and socio-political norms and narratives. Translation Pairings: I. Sawako Nakayasu and Katrine Jensen II. Jill Schoolman and Archipelago Translators Peter Wortsman, Mary Ann Newman, and Tess Lewis III. Isabel Fargo Cole and Jennifer Croft > Details


Alternate Realities | Sunday, November 14 at 1:00 PM | Virtual Event | Hosted by the ACFNY

How can fiction help us question our assumptions about what seems most familiar? This panel will explore the way literature can sharpen our sense of realit(ies) by unsettling us. If Wittgenstein was right that the limits of our language are the limits of our world, how can we expand those limits? > Details


Tess Lewis Tess Lewis’s translations from French and German include works by Peter Handke, Walter Benjamin, Anselm Kiefer, Maja Haderlap, Philippe Jaccottet, and Christine Angot. She has been awarded grants from PEN and the NEA, the Austrian Cultural Forum NY Translation Prize, the PEN Translation Prize, and a Guggenheim Fellowship. She is Co-chair of the PEN Translation Committee and an Advisory Editor for The Hudson Review. She has written essays on European Literature for a number of journals and newspapers including The Hudson Review, World Literature Today, Partisan Review, The American Scholar, The Wall Street Journal and Bookforum. She is delighted to be back with FNL, having curated the festival in 2014 and 2015.

Image Credit: Sarah Shatz

Alta L. Price Alta L. Price runs a publishing consultancy specialized in literature and nonfiction texts on art, architecture, design, and culture. A recipient of the Gutekunst Prize, she translates from Italian and German into English. Her latest publications include books by Martin Mosebach and Dana Grigorcea, and her translations of Alexander Kluge and Anna Goldenberg are forthcoming in 2020. Her work has appeared on BBC Radio 4, 3 Quarks Daily, Maharam Stories, Trafika Europe, Words Without Borders, and elsewhere. She is a member of PEN, the Authors Guild, the American Literary Translators Association, the Third Coast Translators Collective, and Cedilla & Co.

Image Credit: Donnelly Marks


Nov 11 - 14 2021

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Tue ‒ Thu: 09am ‒ 07pm
Fri ‒ Mon: 09am ‒ 05pm

Adults: $25
Children & Students free

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