Irregular Readings: Sharon Dodua Otoo's “Adas Realm” (October 8)

Adas Raum Book Cover

“Adas Raum” Book Cover, © Johanna Ghebray / Fischer Verlag

23.09.2021 - Article

A conversation with the author Sharon Dodua Otoo and her translator Jon Cho-Polizzi about Otoo's novel 'Adas Realm'.

NYU Center for the Humanities, Stanford University’s Division of Literatures, Cultures and Languages, and Deutsches Haus at NYU presents the second event in our “Irregular Readings” series, a conversation with the author and political activist, Sharon Dodua Otoo, who will read from her highly acclaimed debut novel, Adas Raum (Fischer Verlag, 2021), followed by a conversation with her literary translator Jon Cho Polizzi, which will be moderated by Professor Ulrich Baer (NYU) and Professor Amir Eshel (Stanford University).

About “Irregular Readings”:

“Irregular Readings” is a new literary initiative, created by NYU Center for the Humanities, Stanford University’s Division of Literatures, Cultures and Languages, and Deutsches Haus at NYU, and will showcase moderated conversations and readings to introduce English-speaking audiences to contemporary German-language literature and the authors who are creating this diverse and vibrant body of work. The series will take place (as you might expect from the title) on an irregular basis and, for the time being, via live Zoom sessions.

About Ada’s Realm:

Sharon Dodua Otoo’s courage and passion for narration and her curiosity for understanding the present day are breathtaking. Everything in her world hangs by a silken thread: threatening to fall at any moment, floating in wondrous suspense.

So, too, with Ada, the protagonist of Otoo’s first novel. Ada is not one, but many women: She revolves in orbits between Ghana and London before eventually landing in Berlin. But she is also all women — because these loops transport her from one century to the next. And so, she experiences the misery but also the joy of womanhood: she is a victim, she offers resistance, and she fights for her independence.

With vivid language and infinite imagination — with empathy and humor — Sharon Dodua Otoo’s novel Ada’s Realm paints an astonishing picture of what it means to be a woman.

About the speakers:

Sharon Dodua Otoo is an author and a political activist. She writes prose and essays and is editor of the English-language book series “Witnessed” (edition assemblage). In 2017 her first novellas “the things i am thinking while smiling politely” and “Synchronicity” were republished in German translation by S. Fischer Verlag. Otoo is politically active with the Initiative Schwarze Menschen in Deutschland e.V. and Phoenix e.V. She lives with her family in Berlin.

Jon Cho-Polizzi is an educator and freelance literary translator. He studied Literature, History, and Translation Studies in Santa Cruz and Heidelberg, before receiving his PhD in German and Medieval Studies at UC Berkeley with a dissertation titled “A Different (German) Village: Writing Place through Migration.”

Ulrich Baer (moderator) is University Professor at New York University where he teaches literature and photography. He hosts the ideas podcast, Think About It, and has published editions of numerous classic books with Warbler Press.

Amir Eshel (moderator) is Edward Clark Crossett Professor of Humanistic Studies and Professor of German Studies and Comparative Literature at Stanford University. His research focuses on contemporary literature and the arts as they touch on memory, history, politics, and ethics.

“Irregular Readings” is jointly organized by Ulrich Baer (University Professor, Director, Center for the Humanities, NYU); Juliane Camfield (Director, Deutsches Haus at NYU); and Amir Eshel (Edward Clark Crossett Professor of Humanistic Studies, German Studies and Comparative Literature, Stanford University). Thanks for her invaluable support goes to Sarah Girner (Deutsches Haus at NYU).

“Irregular Readings” is funded by the DAAD from funds of the German Federal Foreign Office (AA).

Location & Time

Friday, October 8, 2021, 3:00 PM – 4:30 PM EDT

Virtual Event via Zoom

Please register here

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