Deutsches Haus at NYU presents a conversation with our writer-in-residence, Jan Brandt and the author Andrew Conn about Brandt’s novel “Against the World.” Their conversation will also touch upon living and writing in Berlin and New York, urban life and how it translates to the page, and the concepts of belonging, identity and “Heimat”/home. Jan Brandt, born 1974 in Leer (East Frisia), studied History and Literary Studies in Cologne, London and Berlin, and attended the German School for Journalism in Munich. He is a regular contributor to magazines and newspapers. His novel “Gegen die Welt” from 2011 “Against the World”, translated by Katy Derbyshire, published by Seagull Books in 2016) was finalist for the German Book Award and won the Nicolas Born Début Prize. Jan Brandt has also received various literary scholarships and residencies such as Ledig House and Yaddo in New York and Villa Aurora in Pacific Palisades. The “Sueddeutsche Zeitung” called his latest book, the memoir “Ein Haus auf dem Land/Eine Wohnung in der Stadt” (“A House in the Country/An Apartment in the City”, 2019/2020) “enormously clever and overwhelmingly stimulating … the book of the hour”. He lives in Berlin.
Andrew Lewis Conn’s most recent novel, O, Africa! (Hogarth/Random House, 2014) was
selected a “best summer read” by The Los Angeles Times, Kirkus, The Orlando Sentinel, San Diego Magazine, The Seattle Post-Intelligencer, and Detroit Jewish News, with The Chicago Tribune writing: “Conn takes his place here as one of contemporary fiction’s great word-wranglers, a novelist whose love of language in all its rolling and tumbling excess captures the bounding excess of life itself.” Conn’s debut novel, P (Soft Skull Press, 2003), was chosen as one of the summer’s best books by The Austin Chronicle, Nerve, The Oregonian, Salon, and Time Out New York; named one of the best books of the year by The Village Voice and The Austin Chronicle; and selected as “one of the best books of the millennial (so far!)” by The Millions. Conn’s essays, reviews, and short fiction have appeared in The Believer, Elle, Film Comment, The Indiana Review, Time Out New York, The Village Voice, and the literary anthology The Flash. A Brooklyn native, Conn lives in Park Slope with his wife, daughter, dog, and turtle.
“Against the World”: A village on the furthest outskirts of northwest Lower Saxony, only a few kilometres from the Dutch border: Cows are grazing on the meadows, farmers are tilling their fields, every once in a while the din of a low-lying aircraft disturbs the tranquility. Flowers are blossoming behind the trimmed cedar hedges, shiny, freshly waxed new cars stand in the driveways. This is the world into which Daniel Kuper was born in the mid 1970s, a lanky, withdrawn boy with much too much imagination and much too little opportunity to live out only a fraction of it. Strange things soon start taking place and Kuper is held responsible. The more he tries to rebut the accusations, the deeper he gets enmeshed in them. Kuper takes up the fight against the village, its inhabitants, its traditions, its narrowness and its closeness.
Location & Time
In-person at Deutsches Haus at NYU, 42 Washington Mews, New York, NY 10003
6:00pm - 7:30pm on Friday, September 30, 2022