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Ariel Levy

The U.S. Embassy Literature Series

Ariel Levy reads from The Rules Do Not Apply (Gegen alle Regeln)

When Ariel Levy left for a reporting trip to Mongolia in 2012, she was pregnant, married, financially secure, and successful on her own terms. A month later, none of that was true. Levy picks you up and hurls you through the story of how she built an unconventional life and then watched it fall apart with astonishing speed. Like much of her generation, she was raised to resist traditional rules—about work, about love, and about womanhood.

In this “deeply human and deeply moving” (The New York Times Book Review) memoir, Levy chronicles the adventure and heartbreak of being, in her own words, “a woman who is free to do whatever she chooses.” Her story of resilience becomes an unforgettable portrait of the shifting forces in our culture, of what has changed—and of what is eternal.


Ariel Levy joined The New Yorker as a staff writer in 2008 and received the National Magazine Award for Essays and Criticism in 2014 for her piece “Thanksgiving in Mongolia.” She is the author of the book Female Chauvinist Pigs and was a contributing editor at the magazine New York for twelve years.
pic: David Klagsbrun

Tom Drury

The U.S. Embassy Literature Series

Tom Drury reads from his Grouse County trilogy.

Klett-Cotta published the German translation of Tom Drury’s Grouse County trilogy (The End of Vandalism, Hunts in Dreams and Pacific) together as Grouse County in August 2017.

Tom Drury is the author of Pacific, The End of Vandalism, Hunts in Dreams, The Driftless Area and The Black Brook. His fiction has appeared in The New Yorker, Harper’s and the Mississippi Review. Drury has been a Guggenheim Fellow and was named one of Granta‘s “Best Young American Novelists.” He is an alumnus of the American Academy in Berlin and lives in New York.

Photo by Annette Hornischer, courtesy American Academy in Berlin

Zoë Beck

liest aus ihrem neuen Kriminalroman Die Lieferantin.

London, in einer nicht wirklich fernen Zukunft: Ein Drogenhändler treibt tot in der Themse, ein Schutzgelderpresser verschwindet spurlos. Ellie Johnson weiß, dass auch sie in Gefahr ist – sie leitet das heißeste Start-up Londons und zugleich das illegalste: Über ihre App bestellt man Drogen in höchster Qualität und sie werden von Drohnen geliefert. Anonym, sicher, perfekt organisiert.
Die Sache hat nur einen Haken – die gesamte Londoner Unterwelt fühlt sich von ihrem Geschäftsmodell bedroht und will ›Die Lieferantin‹ tot sehen. Ein Kopfgeld wird auf sie ausgesetzt. Ellie beschließt zu kämpfen – ihre Gegner sind mächtig, und sie lauern an jeder Straßenecke.

Zoë Beck

gehört zu den profiliertesten Krimiautor*Innen Deutschlands. Sie schreibt Romane und Erzählungen, übersetzt und leitet zusammen mit Jan Karsten den CulturBooks Verlag. Sie studierte englische und deutsche Literatur u.a. in Gießen, Bonn und Durham und war anschließend Creative Producerin für internationale Fernsehfilmproduktionen. Seit 2004 macht sie Redaktion, Dialogbuch und Regie für Synchronproduktionen. 2010 erhielt sie den Friedrich-Glauser-Preis in der Sparte „Bester Kurzkrimi“,  2014 den Krimipreis von Radio Bremen und 2016 den Deutschen Krimipreis, National Platz 3, für Schwarzblende. Das zerbrochene Fenster wurde von der Jury der KrimiZEITBestenliste unter die zehn besten Kriminalromane im September 2012 gewählt, Brixton Hill im Januar, Februar und März 2014, Schwarzblende im März, April, Mai und Juni 2015. Zoë Becks Romane und Erzählungen wurden bisher in neun Sprachen übersetzt.

Photo: Victoria Tomaschko / Suhrkamp Verlag

Adam Johnson

the U.S. Embassy Literature Series

Adam Johnson, currently the Holtzbrinck Fellow in Fiction at the American Academy in Berlin, reads from Fortune Smiles and work-in-progress.

Adam Johnson is the Phil and Penny Knight Professor in Creative Writing at Stanford University. Winner of a Whiting Award and Fellowships from the Guggenheim Foundation, the National Endowment for the Arts and the American Academy in Berlin, he is the author of several books, including Fortune Smiles, which won the 2015 National Book Award, and the novel The Orphan Master’s Son, which was awarded the 2013 Pulitzer Prize. His fiction has appeared in Esquire, GQ, Playboy, Harper’s Magazine, Granta, Tin House and The Best American Short Stories. His work has been translated into more than thirty languages. Adam Johnson is currently the Holtzbrinck Fellow at the American Academy in Berlin.

Photo by Tamara Beckwith

Molly Antopol

the U.S. Embassy Literature Series

Molly Antopol, currently the Mary Ellen von der Heyden Fellow in Fiction at the American Academy in Berlin, reads from her novel-in-progress, The After Party.

Molly Antopol’s debut story collection, The UnAmericans, won the New York Public Library’s Young Lions Fiction Award, a National Book Foundation 5 Under 35 Award, the French-American Prize, the Ribalow Prize and a California Book Award Silver Medal. The book was longlisted for the 2014 National Book Award and was a finalist for the PEN/Robert W. Bingham Prize, the Barnes & Noble Discover Award, the National Jewish Book Award and the Sami Rohr Prize, among others. The book appeared on over a dozen “Best of 2014” lists. The German translation Die Unamerikanischen came out in 2015. Her writing has appeared widely, including in the New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, The New Republic, San Francisco Chronicle, NPR’s All Things Considered and This American Life, online at The New Yorker and in the O.Henry Prize anthology. She’s the recipient of a Wallace Stegner Fellowship at Stanford University, where she teaches creative writing and was a fellow at the Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study at Harvard.

Photo by Debbi Cooper

Paul La Farge

The U.S. Embassy Literature Series:

Paul La Farge, 2016/2017 Picador Guest Professor for Literature at the University of Leipzig, reads from his new novel The Night Ocean

tnocover-smThe novel is about a man who becomes obsessed with an episode from the life of legendary horror author H.P. Lovecraft and then suddenly disappears. His wife then sets off on a desperate search for him.

“It’s about love and trust and betrayal, and the mystery at the heart of any intimate relationship. Everyone has depths that we can’t fathom. Sometimes what’s down there surfaces.” (Paul La Farge)

Paul La Farge was born in 1970 in New York City and studied at Yale University. He has taught creative writing on and off since 2002 at Wesleyan University and Colombia University. He is a recipient of the Guggenheim Fellowship and was a fellow at the Dorothy and Lewis B. Cullman Center for Scholars and Writers at the New York Public Library in 2013-14. His short stories and non-fiction pieces have been widely published in journals, including McSweeney’s, Harper’s Magazine, Fence, Conjunctions, The Believer, Playboy and Cabinet. He is the author of the novels The Artist of the Missing (1999) and Haussmann, or the Distinction (2001), for which he received the annual Bard Fiction Prize. His latest novel Luminous Airplanes was published in 2011.

Beth Ann Fennelly and Tom Franklin

The U.S. Embassy Literature Series:

Beth Ann Fennelly and Tom Franklin read from and discuss their joint novel The Tilted World and their forthcoming works.


Tom Franklin, winner of a Guggenheim Fellowship, is the author of a collection of stories, Poachers, which won the Edgar Award for its title novella. He has written three novels, Hell at the Breech, Smonk and Crooked Letter, Crooked Letter, which won the Willie Morris Prize in Southern Fiction, the LA Times Book Award for Mystery/Thriller and the UK’s Golden Dagger Award for Best Novel. Most recently, he co-wrote The Tilted World, a novel, with his wife, Beth Ann Fennelly. He is based in in Oxford, Mississippi, where he teaches in the University of Mississippi’s MFA program, but is currently the recipient of a fellowship from the American Academy in Berlin.

Beth Ann Fennelly, Poet Laureate of Mississippi, teaches in the MFA Program at the University of Mississippi, where she was named Outstanding Teacher of the Year. She’s won grants and awards from the N.E.A., the United States Artists, a Pushcart and a Fulbright to Brazil. Fennelly has published three books of poetry: Open House, Tender Hooks, and Unmentionables, as well as a book of nonfiction, Great with Child, all with W. W. Norton.  The Tilted World, a novel she co-authored with her husband, Tom Franklin, was published by HarperCollins. Heating & Cooling: 52 Micro-Memoirs will be published by Norton in the fall of 2017. Fennelly and Franklin live in Oxford with their three children.

Joshua Hammer

Joshua Hammer reads from The Bad-Ass Librarians of Timbuktu and Their Race to Save the World’s Most Precious Manuscripts (2016)

the-bad-ass-librarians-of-timbuktu-9781476777405_hrTo save precious centuries-old Arabic texts from Al Qaeda, a band of librarians in Timbuktu pulls off a brazen heist worthy of Ocean’s Eleven. In the 1980s, a young adventurer and collector for a government library, Abdel Kader Haidara, journeyed across the Sahara Desert and along the Niger River, tracking down and salvaging tens of thousands of ancient Islamic and secular manuscripts that had fallen into obscurity.

The Bad-Ass Librarians of Timbuktu tells the incredible story of how Haidara, a mild-mannered archivist and historian from the legendary city of Timbuktu, later became one of the world’s greatest and most brazen smugglers. In 2012, thousands of Al Qaeda militants from northwest Africa seized control of most of Mali, including Timbuktu. They imposed Sharia law, chopped off the hands of accused thieves, stoned to death unmarried couples, and threatened to destroy the great manuscripts. As the militants tightened their control over Timbuktu, Haidara organized a dangerous operation to sneak all 350,000 volumes out of the city to the safety of southern Mali.

Joshua Hammer joined the staff of Newsweek as a business and media writer in 1988, and served as a bureau chief and correspondent-at-large on five continents between 1992 and 2006. Hammer is now a contributing editor to Smithsonian and Outside, a frequent contributor to the New York Review of Books, and has written for publications including the New Yorker, the New York Times Magazine, Vanity Fair, the Condé Nast Traveler, the Atlantic Monthly, and the Atavist. Joshua Hammer has been awarded the National Magazine Award 2016 in the category “reporting.”

Inkblot Berlin – Berlin Writers Read

Inkblot Berlin gives you the chance to hear the voices behind the words. Working writers from the city read their drama, poetry and prose.

Formed in the furnace of the writing scene in Berlin, Inkblot seeks to shine a light on what is happening in the writing groups and draughty garrets of this vibrant capital. For this inaugural event we present Mary Kelly, twice published playwright from Dublin, Madhvi Ramani a polymath who writes for children and adults and Ben Maddox, who turns his bitter gaze onto rural life. Let us tell you our stories.

Anthony Marra

Anthony Marra reads from The Tsar of Love and Techno: Stories (2015)

$_35Anthoyn Marra´s collection of stories introduces a cast of remarkable characters whose lives intersect in ways both life-affirming and heartbreaking. A 1930s Soviet censor painstakingly corrects offending photographs, deep underneath Leningrad, bewitched by the image of a disgraced prima ballerina. A chorus of women recount their stories and those of their grandmothers, former gulag prisoners who settled their Siberian mining town. Two pairs of brothers share a fierce, protective love. Young men across the former USSR face violence at home and in the military. And great sacrifices are made in the name of an oil landscape unremarkable except for the almost incomprehensibly peaceful past it depicts. In stunning prose, with rich character portraits and a sense of history reverberating into the present, The Tsar of Love and Techno is a captivating work.

Anthony Marra is the New York Times bestselling author of a National Book Awards Longlist selection, A Constellation of Vital Phenomena. He is the winner of a Whiting Award, a Pushcart Prize, The Atlantic’s Student Writing Contest, and the Narrative Prize and his work was anthologized in Best American Nonrequired Reading 2012. A graduate of the Iowa Writers’ Workshop and a former Stegner Fellow, he now teaches at Stanford University. He has lived and studied in Eastern Europe, and resides in Oakland, CA.
Photo Anthony Marra: Heike Steinweg / Suhrkamp Verlag