Born in 1960 in Iwano-Frankiwsk, western Ukraine (formerly the Galician town of Stanislau), Yurii Andrukhovych studied journalism and began writing poetry. In 1985 he co-founded the legendary literary performance group Bu-Ba-Bu (Burlesk-Balagan-Buffonada).

His three novels, Rekreacij (1992), Moskoviada (1993) and Perverzija (1999), which were translated into Polish and Russian, gave him the reluctant status of a contemporary classic of Ukrainian literature. 2000 saw the publication in Poland – together with Andrzej Stasiuk – of Mein Europa (“My Europe”), a description of their travels together through unfamiliar parts of Eastern Europe.

In 2005, the city of Osnabruck presented Andrukhovych with the special prize of it Erich Maria Remarque Peace Prize, with the citiation recognising the fact that the writer’s brilliant essays had made an important contribution to the discovery of an almost unknown region of the expanded Europe. In March 2006, he was awarded the Leipzig Book Prize for Understanding between European Peoples, and in 2016 he received a Goethe Medal for his work as a translator.

    ©Susanne Schleyer


Wolfgang Bauer, born in 1970, followed his “boring childhood and uneventful adolescence” with various careers, including time spent both as a professional soldier and as a conscientious objector. After taking evening classes, he began studying Islamic studies and later completed a degree in geography and history at Tübingen University. Today he lives in Reutlingen.

In 1994, Bauer began working as a freelance journalist and war reporter. After writing for the Schwäbisches Tagblatt, Stern and Focus, since 2011 he has written for the weekly Die Zeit, as well as Neon, Greenpeace Magazin and Geo.

His reportage has earned him many awards, including the Catholic Media Prize and the Prix Bayeux-Calvados des Correspondants de Guerre. His latest book, (“Stolen Girls: Survivors of Boko Haram Tell Their Story

”), was published by Suhrkamp Verlag.

    © DIE ZEIT


Born in Bartoszyce (Masuria) in 1968, the son of Polish and German parents, Artur Becker has lived in the Lower Saxony, Germany, since 1985. He writes novels, short stories, poetry and essays, and also works as a translator. He is a member of both the German PEN Center and the Exile PEN club, as well as the Association of German Writers (part of the ver.di trade union).

Becker’s first writing appeared in Polish in the newspaper Gazeta Olsztyńska, but in 1989 he changed languages and today only writes in German. In March 2009, he was awarded the Adelbert von Chamisso Prize, and this was followed in 2012 by the DIALOG Prize of the German-Polish Society.

Becker has published many works. He is particularly well known for Der Dadajsee (1997) about a Polish immigrant worker, and Die Zeit der Stinte (2006; “The Time of the Smelts”), the story of a resettled German Pole. His 2008 novel Wodka und Messer. Lied vom Ertrinken (“Vodka and Knives. A Song of Drowning”) garnered much critical acclaim. His most recent work is Kosmopolen (2016), a volume of essays published by weissbooks.

    © Magdalena Becker


Ulrike Draesner, born in 1962 in Munich, is one of the most prominent women writing in German today. A freelance author, she now lives with her daughter in Oxford and Berlin. Born into a Silesian-Bavarian family in Munich, her childhood was defined by her parents’ mixed origins. This was a meeting of Catholicism and Protestantism, bourgeoisie and farmers, and of different dialects and traditions. Over the last 20 years she has published five volumes of poetry, five novels, several books of short stories and essays, radio plays and translations, and she has contributed to numerous cross-media projects. Ulrike Draesner translates from English and French, holds writing workshops and delivers lectures. Her poetry and novels have earned her numerous awards, including the Usedom Literature Prize (2015), the Joachim Ringelnatz Poetry Prize (2014), the Roswitha Prize (2013), the Solothurner Literature Prize (2010) and the Droste Prize (2006).

    ©Emanuela Danielewicz


Born in 1964, the political scientist Ulrike Guérot is a founding director of the European Democracy Lab at the European School of Governance in Berlin. She has taught at a number of prominent universities in Europe and the USA, and collected 20 years of experience working in the European think-tank community in Paris, Brussels, London, Washington and Berlin, investigating questions of integration within Europe and Europe’s integration in the world. She also adresses these questions in her work as a journalist, essayist and analyst.

Since April 2016, she has been a professor and director of the Department for European Policy and the Study of Democracy at the Danube University Krems, Austria. She has taken it upon herself, at this time of crisis for European integration, to help develop citizen-oriented, democratic structures for Europe that are fit for the 21st century.

    © DUK – Andrea Reischer


Jakob Hein was born in Leipzig in 1971, the son of the writer Christoph Hein and film director Christiane Hein. After studying medicine in Berlin, Stockholm and Boston and then completing a Ph.D. he worked from 1998 to 2011 as senior doctor for psychiatry and psychotherapy at Berlin’s Charité Hospital. Since 2011, the father of two sons has worked as a doctor in general practice for child and youth psychiatry, as well as general psychiatry and psychotherapy.

Jakob Hein began to write when he appeared on stage at Kaffee Burger in eastern Berlin, where, since 1998, he has been a member of the public reading group “Reformbühne Heim und Welt”. He has now published 15 books, including Mein erstes T-Shirt (2001; “My First T-shirt”), Herr Jensen steigt aus (2006; “Mr Jensen Drops Out”), Gebrauchsanweisung für Berlin (2006; “A Users’ Guide to Berlin”) and Wurst und Wahn (2011; “Sausages and Madness”). His latest novel is Kaltes Wasser (2016; Cold Water), “a witty, clever, picaresque novel in which the 44-year-old, East-German-born writer and child psychologist Hein exposes the excesses of the capitalist economic system, as exemplified by the euphoria of the boom years of the 1990s.” (Sounds & Books).

    © Susanne Schleyer


Born in 1972 in Munich, already as a child Daniela Kohl started to earn her pocket money with her scribblings. After school she studied communication design with a special focus on art and aesthetics at the Munich University of Applied Sciences. Since 2001 she has worked as a freelance illustrator and graphic designer for a number of different publishers and advertising agencies. She has won various awards for her work, including the 2004 FIFA competition for her work on the mascot for the 2006 football World Cup, with the WORX PR agency.

Daniela Kohl lives above the roofs of Munich, with a husband, a dog and a tortois  

    ©Christof Stiefer


André Kubiczek, who has German and Lao parentage, was born in 1969 in Potsdam and now lives as a freelance writer in Berlin. 2002 saw the publication of his much praised debut work Young Talents, a moderately autobiographical novel whose main theme is childhood and adolescence in East Germany.

In 2003, he released his novel Die Guten und die Bösen (“The Good and the Bad”), about which the Süddeutsche Zeitung wrote, “Kubiczek’s second novel is even funnier and more inventive than his first; gaudy, exciting, wicked.” This was followed by Oben leuchten die Sterne (“The Stars Shining Above”), Kopf unter Wasser (“Head Under Water”), and Der Genosse, die Prinzessin und ihr lieber Herr Sohn (“The Comrade, the Princess and her Darling Son”). In 2007, André Kubiczek was awarded the Candide Prize.

His most recent book was Skizze eines Sommers (“Sketch of a Summer”), which was shortlisted for the 2016 German Book Prize. This tells a multifaceted tale of youth in the GDR in the summer of 1985. It is about the best of times, about first love and about the beauty and tragedy of adolescence.

  ©Susanne Schleyer/


Charlotte Link, born in 1963 in Frankfurt am Main, is one of the most successful of contemporary German authors. She writes thrillers and historical novels that have become global bestsellers, and is also a children’s author. Her two most recent crime novels, Die Betrogene (“The Deceived”) and Die Entscheidung (“The Decision”), rapidly topped Der Spiegel’s bestseller list. In addition, she has written a well-received autobiographical account of her sister’s death from cancer. In Germany alone, she has sold more than 26 million books, and her novels have been translated into numerous languages. In Poland she is considered the best known German crime writer.

Charlotte Link is an active proponent of animal rights and is involved, among others, with the organisation PETA. She lives close to Frankfurt, together with her family and many animals.



Herta Müller was born into the German-speaking minority in Banat, Romania, in 1953. She studied German and Romanian in Timișoara. She first worked as a translator in a mechanical engineering factory. However, she lost her job after refusing to cooperate with the secret police, the Securitate. Thereafter she had occasional employment as a teacher. The release of her books was hindered for many years, and from 1985 she was subject to a general ban on publication in Romania. Her criticisms of Ceausescu’s dictatorship earned her ever harsher repression, and ultimately even death threats. In 1987 Müller emigrated to Germany and has lived in Berlin ever since.

She has received many prizes, and in 2009 was awarded the Nobel Prize for Literature for her life’s work. The citation for the Nobel Prize recognised the intensity of her literary writing.

    ©Stephanie von Becker


Alice Pantermüller was born in Flensburg in 1968. Already in primary school she wanted to be either a “book writer” or a teacher. In the end she chose the latter. After completing her teacher training at Flensburg University she spent some time as an assistant German teacher in Scotland, and followed this with an apprenticeship as a bookseller. Her discovery as an author came in 2009 when she entered a writing competition run by Arena Verlag.

Today she lives with her husband and two sons in the Lüneburg Heath region, where she thinks up her children’s stories. She has become famous for her children’s books about Bendix Brodersen and the bestselling Mein LOTTA-Leben (“LOTTA’s Life”) series, which has already been translated into many languages, including Polish.




Born in 1974 in Frankfurt am Main, Daniela Seel now lives in Berlin as a poet, publisher and translator. In 2003, together with the book-artist and illustrator Andreas Töpfer, she founded the publishing enterprise kookbooks – Lab for Poetry as Life Form. Her work has been published in magazines, newspapers, anthologies and on the Internet. She has taken part in numerous international appearances and collaborations with, among others, the musician Planningtorock, the dancer David Bloom, and the poets Rick Reuther, Robert Stripling and SJ Fowler. With kookbooks she has published the poetry volumes ich kann diese stelle nicht wiederfinden (2011; “I can not find this place again”) and was weißt du schon von prärie (2015; “what do you know about prairie actually”). The awards received by Daniela Seel include the Friedrich Hölderlin Sponsorship Award, the Ernst Meister Sponsorship Award and the Art Prize Literature, Lotto Brandenburg. Her poems have been translated into Polish, English, Slovakian, Czech, French, Norwegian, Italian, Dutch, Spanish, Swedish, Serbian and Croatian.

    © Anne Provoost




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