Ingo Schulze, the celebrated author of Simple Stories (1998) and Neue Leben (2005) will read from the latter (in German), followed by a discussion with Schulze and Jutta Müller-Tamm (FU-Berlin).
Ingo Schulze is the author of Simple Stories and Neue Leben, both of which thematize the process of German reunification (“Wende”) from a deliberately provincial, East German perspective. Schulze grew up in Dresden and studied classical philology at the University of Jena. He worked as a Dramaturg for the theater in Altenburg and as a journalist for the short-lived Altenburger Wochenblatt (1990-91) that he co-founded. Both Neue Leben and his subsequent novel Adam und Evelyn were finalists for the German Book Prize in 2006 and 2008, respectively. The recipient of a fellowship at the Villa Massimo in Rome, Schulze published a collection of stories entitled Orangen und Engel: Italienische Skizzen, which appeared in 2010. He has taught at the University of Lüneburg (as a Heinrich-Heine-Gastdozent), written a prize-winning radio feature (Das Deutschlandgerät) and won numerous literary awards, including the Peter-Weiss Prize, the Thüringer Literaturpreis, the Bertolt-Brecht Prize.
Described by the New York Times as a “mordant comedy,” Ingo Schulze’s 2005 novel Neue Leben presents the story of Enrico Türmer, a young man who becomes caught up in the transition from East German socialism to capitalism in a unified Germany after 1989. Türmer, a failed writer in the GDR, becomes an entrepreneur in the new Germany. Presented as a series of letters written by Türmer to his lover, his brother, and his sister (and annotated with footnotes by one Ingo Schulze), the novel is both a historical document and an experiment in epistolary form. As one reviewer poignantly put it, the novel tells the story of how the East and the West became lost to one another after 1989.
The reading will be in German, with copies available in English. Discussion will be in English.