Brittany Hazelwood on why the Festival Neue Literatur is a can’t-miss event for all young book-professionals located in the Big Apple February 10-12, 2012.
The Festival Neue Literatur (FNL) (that’s “Festival of New Literature”), celebrates its third year by bringing rising German-language authors– representing Austria, Germany and Switzerland–to New York. The diversity among the featured authors runs the full gamut, from debut authors to prizewinners, along with multicultural storytellers and rapidly ascending literary stars. The six selected German-language authors, Catalin Dorian Florescu, Inka Parei, Monica Cantieni,Linda Stift, Erwin Uhrmann, and Larissa Boehning, will engage in a series of panels and readings in English with their American fellow-writers, Francisco Goldman and Chris Adrian. For many of the featured German-language writers, the selected works represent untranslated titles, with the exception of Parei and Cantieni, who have found English-language publishing homes.
(Meet Susan Bernofsky & this year’s featured authors:)
For readers of Publishing Trendsetter in New York, the FNL is a rare opportunity to engage with German-language authors at the beginning of their literary careers who have exemplified great talent and promise great things ahead. For young New York-based book professionals, especially those in editorial who are not yet acquiring books, we suggest you approach Festival Neue Literatur as a bookmark, one that provokes curiosity and inspires further exploration of featured authors. And for young editors who are acquiring books, FNL offers a truly exceptional slate of the finest ascending writers from abroad, handpicked by this year’s curator and esteemed translator Susan Bernofsky and the many members of the FNL organizing collective. And for book professional in general, FNL is a platform to network with the full spectrum of professionals that make up the literature in translation scene, from fellow editors interested in world literature to translators to literary critics and institutions such as the German Book Office that advocates for German books in translations–and all of this is right here in your own backyard!
When I think about the future of literature in translation, my thoughts hone in especially on readers of Publishing Trendsetter. That three percent figure that haunts literature in translation in the US is, in many regards, in the hands of young and future book professionals. If world literature emerges as a key interest for this crowd, then that puny three percent could finally see some growth.
Thus we hope to see young book professional at Festival Neue Literatur amongst the attending literary fans and German-language literature connoisseurs. In the worlds of FNL moderator and literary critic Liesl Schillinger, “The Festival Neue Literatur opens a window on the current view from the Danube and the Rhine; giving voracious readers a chance to update their reading lists, and open their minds.”
Brittany Hazelwood is a project manager at the German Book Office New York (GBO). Prior to her work at the GBO, she was an independent researcher in Berlin with the DAAD Fellowship Program. She graduated from Columbia University with a degree in German Literature and Cultural Studies.