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Once again I can’t wait for the German-language literary festival to start! Festival Neue Literatur 2014 will take place from February 28 to March 2, 2014, at venues throughout New York City.

KrawatteTo date I have read four of the featured books and while they have some things in common (most of them deal with being foreign or an oustsider in a society), they are completely different in style and the subject they deal with. My favorite is Man nannte ihn Krawatte (I Called Him Necktie, which is slated to be published in English by New Vessel Press this coming fall) by Milena Michiko Flašar, the touching story about two outsiders in Japanese society.

Now I am curious about some of the authors I have not yet read, and I am thinking specifically about Abbas Khider’s story about a love letter’s journey from Benghazi, Libya, to Bagdad, Iraq, and the clandestine networks carrying the letter.

The 2014 FNL-authors are: Milena Michiko Flašar and Maja Haderlap (Austria), Olga Grjasnowa and Abbas Khider (Germany), Melinda Nadj Abonji and Richard Weihe (Switzerland), and special U.S. guest authors Monique Truong and Keith Gessen.

To find out about all events taking place, please visit the festival’s website http://festivalneueliteratur.org/.

Have a look at the Festival’s Welcome Video by curator Tess Lewis (and please note that the video was recorded in our beautiful library!):

To learn more about the authors, check out the following links:

Melinda Nadj Abonji (video):
http://www.dailymotion.com/video/xkr4qi_german-book-prize-2010-melinda-nadj-abonji-s-tauben-fliegen-auf_news

Olga Grjasnowa:
http://goingdutchwithgermanwriters.wordpress.com/2013/04/11/in-which-i-go-out-drinking-with-olga-grjasnowa/

Milena Michiko Flašar (video):
http://www.ardmediathek.de/br-fernsehen/lesezeichen-bayerisches-fernsehen?documentId=9523010 (in German)

Abbas Khider:
http://www.thesundayleader.lk/2014/02/09/a-refugees-revelations/

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