The theme of the 2021 festival, curated by
Tess Lewis and Alta Price
Turn and Face the Strange
This year marks the 11th anniversary of Festival Neue Literatur (November 11–14), the first and only festival to spotlight German-language and U.S. fiction together.
Now entering its second decade highlighting important work from Austria, Germany, Switzerland, and the U.S., the theme of the 2021 festival is “Turn and Face the Strange." The writers and publishing luminaries featured this year are Anna Baar, Joshua Cohen, Isabel Fargo Cole, Judith Keller, Helen Phillips, Benjamin Quaderer, Sasha Marianna Salzmann, and Ivna Žic. For the first time in festival history, an author from Liechtenstein joins the lineup.
The eleventh edition of the Festival Neue Literatur invites authors and attendees alike to Turn and Face the Strange. The books featured this year explore the strangeness, uncanniness, and eeriness that sometimes lurks just beneath the surface of daily life and can break out full force in times of change—whether large or small, internal or external, real or imagined, spatial or temporal. We start with out-of-body experiences, the loneliness of a con-man in a tiny country, a lost twin, time travel in and out of complicated pasts and no less complicated presents, poisonous bees, a miracle or two, deer-headed intruders, along with a series of far-fetched women—and then things get really strange.
We understand the world through language. This year’s authors twist and turn it to tame the unfamiliar and turn the familiar inside out, expanding—even deepening—our horizons.