Deutsches Haus at NYU presents a reading by the author and current writer-in-residence at Deutsches Haus at NYU, Maja Haderlap, from her recent novel Angel of Oblivion, followed by a conversation with the acclaimed translator, Tess Lewis, who received the Austrian Cultural Forum NY Translation Prize for her translation of Angel of Oblivion.
Maja Haderlap's Angel of Oblivion is based on the experiences of her family and the Slovenian-speaking minority in southern Austria, many of whom fought as partisans against the Nazis during the Second World War. The story centers on the experiences of a young girl learning to navigate the terrain between two hostile communities and two extremely burdened languages: Slovenian, a language of heroic resistance and continued humiliation, and German, an escape from her stifling rural upbringing but also the language of the camps which her grandmother barely survived and many other family members didn’t. Engaging with themes of tolerance and integration of minority communities, the burden of history, the effects of conflicts on survivors and their children, and language’s role in shaping identity, Haderlap’s novel strikes at problems of paramount importance to our world today.
"In her novel Angel of Oblivion, Maja Haderlap conducts a battle with the horror pictures of her childhood that is both impressive and oppressive… the act of writing down these memories was a means of liberation. … Maja Haderlap succeeds in creating vivid scenes of an archaic landscape and its rural way of life. One can sense she is a poet."
— Die Zeit
Maja Haderlap, born in Eisenkappel/Zelezna Kapla (Austria), studied theatre studies and German at the University of Vienna. From 1992 to 2007, she was Head of Dramaturgy at the Municipal Theatre of Klagenfurt and held annual classes at the Institute for Applied Cultural Sciences at the Alpen Adria University in Klagenfurt. Since 2008, she has lived and worked as a freelance author in Klagenfurt. She has published volumes of poetry and essays in Slovenian and German, and translations from Slovenian. Angel of Oblivion is her first novel. A German language adaptation premiered at Vienna’s Akademietheater in 2015. Her awards include the Ingeborg-Bachmann-Preis 2011, the Buchpreis der Stiftung Ravensburger Verlag 2011, the Bruno-Kreisky-Preis für das politische Buch 2011, the Rauriser Literaturpreis 2012, and the Vinzenz-Rizzi-Preis 2013. A Slovenian language theatrical adaptation of the novel, Angel Posabe, was staged by the Slovenian National Theater in 2014.
Tess Lewis’ translations from French and German include works by Maja Haderlap, Peter Handke, Alois Hotschnig, Melinda Nadj Abonji, Philippe Jaccottet, and the painter Anselm Kiefer. Her recent awards include a Max Geilinger Award, the Austrian Cultural Forum NY Translation Prize, and a Guggenheim Fellowship. She also serves as an Advisory Editor for The Hudson Review and writes essays on European literature for a number of journals and newspapers including The New Criterion, The Hudson Review, World Literature Today, The American Scholar, and Bookforum.
Events at Deutsches Haus are free and open to the public. If you would like to attend this event, please send an email to email@example.com. As space at Deutsches Haus is limited, please arrive ten minutes prior to the event to ensure you get a good seat. Thank you!
"Angel of Oblivion:" An Evening with Maja Haderlap and Tess Lewis is presented with the generous support of the Federal Chancellery of Austria and in collaboration with Archipelago Books. Maja Haderlap's novel Angel of Oblivion will be available for purchase at the event.