Each year the Goethe-Institut Chicago, the Consulate General of Switzerland in Chicago and the Consulate General of Austria in Chicago present Literaturlenz, evening of German and English language readings. Each guest author represents a unique voice in contemporary German literature.
Jan Böttcher was born in Lüneburg and lives in Berlin as a freelance author, singer and songwriter. He studied German and Scandinavian literature in Berlin and Stockholm until 2001. From 1998 to 2006 he was the frontman of the band Herr Nilsson, which released five albums on the KOOK label. Böttcher recently released his first solo album, Vom anderen Ende des Flures (From the Other End of the Floor). His literary debut, the novella Lina oder: Das kalte Moor (Lina, or the Cold Moor), was well-received in Germany. It was followed by the novels Geld oder Leben (Money or Life) in 2006 and Nachglühen (Afterglow) in 2008. This last novel earned him a Deutscher Literaturfonds fellowship and an Ernst-Willner Prize during the German Literature Days 2007 in Klagenfurt, Austria. In 2008, Böttcher was a writer in residence at Willa Decjusca in Krakow.
Lilian Faschinger received her Ph.D. in English literature in 1979. From 1975 to 1991, she lectured at the University of Graz, while translating English and American fiction written by Gertrude Stein, John Banville and Paul Bowles. She has received the Austrian National Award for Literary Translation, the Austrian National Writers´ Grant and other prizes for her own literary work. She has been a guest professor and writer in residence at several American universities such as Dartmouth College, New York University, Washington University in St. Louis and Dickinson College. She writes short stories and novels. Her works include Die neue Scheherazade (The New Scheherazade), Magdalena Sünderin (Magdalena the Sinner), Wiener Passion (Vienna Passion) and Stadt der Verlierer (City of Losers).
Writer Peter Weber was born in 1968, spent his childhood in Wattwil, but now lives in Zürich. His first novel, Weathermaker (Der Wettermacher) was published in 1993 and reprinted nine times in that same year. He was awarded the Solothurner Prize for Literature for his most recent novel, The Years without Melody (Die melodielosen Jahre). He was named Stadtschreiber von Bergen (a laureate named for small town which is now part of Frankfurt) for 2004-2005. In 2008 he lived in Istanbul. Weber works with musicians, artists and filmmakers and is a member of the literature performance-group Dichtende Maultrommler (Jew's-Harp Poets), whose first CD Singende Eisen, Spangen, und Gleise (Singing Irons, Bolts, and Tracks) appeared in 2007. His text Fluorescent Seas of Fog was released in English in 2007, accompanied by artist and climatologist Andreas Züst's images.
Recorded Monday, April 20, 2009 at Goethe-Institut Chicago.