10.ilb - 15.09 bis 26.10.10 - Focus Osteuropa
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Thomas Hettche  [ Germany ]

Biography

Guest 2009.

Bibliography

Ludwig muß sterben
Dumont
Frankfurt/Main, 1989

Inkubation
Suhrkamp
Frankfurt/Main, 1992

Nox
List. Tb Verlag
Frankfurt/Main, 1995

Der Fall Arbogast
Dumont
Köln, 2001

Woraus wir gemacht sind
Kiepenheuer & Witsch
Köln, 2006

Fahrtenbuch 1993-2007
Kiepenheuer & Witsch
Köln, 2007

Thomas Hettche was born in Treis, near Giessen, Germany, in 1964. He studied philosophy and German in Frankfurt. While still a student, he published his first novel, earning himself an invitation to compete for the Ingeborg Bachmann Prize in Klagenfurt. Later, he became a member of the jury for the said prize from 1995 to 1999. In 1999, he completed his doctorate with a dissertation on Venetian media and history. In addition to his academic and literary activities, he has also written articles for the »Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung« and the »Neuen Zürcher Zeitung«. Since 2002, he has been teaching at various higher education institutions and, since 2005, he has worked as chief publisher for Edition Spycher.

His literary output is no less wide-ranging than his professional activities. His début novel, »Ludwig muß sterben« (1989; t: Ludwig must die) examines the relationship between reality and fantasy: a narrator recently released from a psychiatric institution spends a weekend in the apartment of his terminally ill brother who is in Venice at the time. While there, he has an involuntary encounter with death, which has taken the form of a woman straight out of an anatomy book, and her assistant, a Renaissance doctor. Critics praised the work, comparing it to works by E.T.A. Hoffmann and Samuel Beckett. The subsequent experimental piece »Inkubation« (1992; t: Incubation) earned the author a place within the literary avant-garde. In 2000, Hettche collaborated with Jana Hensel to publish the online anthology »NULL« (t: null), which invites thirty-five young writers to submit contributions for one year’s time – one of the first German literary projects on the internet. Hettche’s next work, the true crime story »Der Fall Arbogast« (2001; Eng. »The Arbogast Case«, 2003), based on a miscarriage of justice in post-war Germany, became a bestseller and has been translated into ten languages. His slightly existentialist thriller »Woraus wir gemacht sind« (2006; »What we are made of«, 2008) was equally successful. Alongside a plot that is full of suspense, the author presents a search for the true America, for its stereotypes and its relationship to Europe. Thomas Hettche has received many fellowships and literary awards, including the Robert Walser Prize and the Rome Prize from Villa Massimo. In 2006, he was short-listed for the German Book Prize with »What we are made of«. The author lives in Berlin and Erschmatt, Switzerland.

© international literaturefestival berlin

[http://www.hettche.de]

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