News Overview 2015

Traversing Two Different Worlds

The work of Sherko Fatah, this year’s recipient of the Adelbert von Chamisso Prize, is a striking example of how German-language literature can be enriched by a change of culture. The author’s native language on his father’s side is Kurdish, and Berlin was the first place he called home. On his visit to Stuttgart, he read from his most recent novel, Der letzte Ort (The Last Place), which provides a haunting take on life inside Iraq.

The book tells of a German dropout and his interpreter who are kidnapped in Iraq. The extreme situation forces the two protagonists to start a dialog on the borderline between intimacy and distance, familiarity and strangeness.

In his trenchant political thriller about friendship and betrayal in an era of kidnappings and Islamic terrorism, the author demonstrates that he has his finger firmly on the pulse of developments in the Arab world. Therefore, his conversation with moderator Wolfang Niess focused not only on his novel, but also on his appraisal of the situation in the Middle East and his personal ties to the region. The evening’s musical accompaniment was provided courtesy of Duo con Animo, with Birgit Maier-Dermann on the flute and Günther Schwarz on the guitar.