Upended: A Conversation among Andrea Grill, Tess Lewis, Jonas Lüscher, Sasha Marianna Salzman, and Monique Truong (December 14)


Upended, © Sarah Girner NYU


The German Consulate General New York and Deutsches Haus at NYU, in collaboration with Festival Neue Literatur (FNL) and its partner organizations (the Austrian Cultural Forum New York, the Consulate General of Switzerland, the Frankfurt Book Fair New York Inc., and the Goethe-Institut New York), present a conversation among acclaimed authors Andrea Grill, Jonas Lüscher, Sasha Marianna Salzman, and Monique Truong, which will be moderated by the renowned translator and writer Tess Lewis. This event is presented in the context of Germany’s current presidency of the Council of the European Union.

Under the timely topic of “Upended,” the participating authors, who hail from Austria, Germany, Switzerland, and the U.S., will reflect upon and discuss major recent changes and disruptions in the areas of culture, politics, and identity in the German-speaking world and the United States. All participating speakers are affiliated with various editions (past and future) of Festival Neue Literatur, the first and only festival to spotlight German-language and American fiction, and will also read brief excerpts from their most recent novels as part of the event, which is curated by Tess Lewis.

About the speakers:

Andrea Grill is a writer, evolutionary biologist, and translator from Albanian, Italian, and Dutch. She is an award-winning author of novels, essays and poems and was able to successfully combine artistic and scientific modes of investigation in her book Schmetterlinge. Ein Portrait. Her most recent novels, Das Paradies des Doktor Caspari and Cherubino, were published in 2015 and 2019.

Tess Lewis (moderator) is a writer and translator from French and German. Her translations include works by Peter Handke, Walter Benjamin, Klaus Merz, Hans Magnus Enzensberger, Christine Angot, Pascal Bruckner, and Jean-Luc Benoziglio. She has been awarded grants from PEN USA, PEN UK, and the NEA, a Max Geilinger Translation Grant for her translation of Philippe Jaccottet, the ACFNY Translation Prize and the 2017 PEN Translation Prize for her translation of the novel Angel of Oblivion by the Austrian writer Maja Haderlap, and most recently a John Simon Guggenheim Fellowship. She serves as an advisory editor for The Hudson Review. Her essays and reviews have appeared in a number of journals and newspapers including Bookforum, Partisan Review, The Hudson Review, World Literature Today, The Wall Street Journal, and The American Scholar.

Jonas Lüscher, the author of Barbarian Spring—“a most humorous and convincing satire of the ridiculous excesses of those responsible for the financial crisis” (The New York Times Book Review)—returns to the topic of neoliberal arrogance in Kraft (Farrar, Straus and Giroux, 2020, translated from the German by Tess Lewis), his Swiss Book Prize winning, hilarious, and wicked novel about a man facing the ruins of his life and his world.

Sasha Marianna Salzmann was born in Volgograd and grew up in Moscow. In 1995, they emigrated with their family to Germany and studied literature, theater, and media at the University of Hildesheim. They have been awarded multiple accolades for their plays, and Beside Myself was shortlisted for the German Book Prize in 2017. Salzmann now teaches creative writing in Germany, Turkey, Moldova, Spain, Italy, and the United States.

Monique Truong is the Vietnamese American author of the bestselling, award-winning novels The Book of Salt, Bitter in the Mouth, and The Sweetest Fruits. Her awards and honors include the PEN/Robert Bingham Fellowship, the New York Public Library Young Lions Award, the American Academy of Arts and Letters Rosenthal Family Foundation Award, a Guggenheim Fellowship, and a U.S.-Japan Creatives Artists Fellowship. She’s also a former refugee, essayist, avid eater, lyricist/librettist, and intellectual property attorney (more or less in this order).


Location & Time:

December 14, 2 PM EST

Via Zoom
To RSVP for this event, please click here. Registration is (as always) free and open to the general public. Only registered attendees will receive Zoom webinar information via email prior to the event.


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