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Online, 11 May 2021

This Encounter featured author Dörte Hansen, whose novel Altes Land (2015) was voted 'Favourite Book of the Year' by German independent booksellers in the year of its publication, and Anne Stokes, whose translation of the novel was published by St Martin’s Press under the title This House is Mine (2016) and was long-listed for the 2018 International DUBLIN Literary Award. The novel tackles issues of refuge, home-making and belonging across the past century, focusing on women of several generations, who find refuge in an old farm building in Northern Germany and against the odds make it their home. 

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Dörte Hansen (left) and Anne Stokes (right). Photos courtesy of the author and translator

Dörte Hansen was born in 1964 in Husum and studied linguistics at the Universities of Kiel and Galway. She wrote her dissertation on multilingualism and language contacts at the University of Hamburg and then worked as a writer and editor for radio and the press. Her first novel, Altes Land, published in 2015, has been translated into more than ten languages. Her second book, Mittagsstunde, was published in 2018, to similar acclaim. 

Anne Stokes holds a PhD degree in German literature from Ohio State University and a PhD in English literature (creative writing and literary translation) from the University of Glasgow. She co-directs the Translation Studies programmes at the University of Stirling, and translates literary and academic texts from the German, including work by Sarah Kirsch (Ice Roses: Selected Poems [Carcanet, 2014]) and Christian Adam (Lesen Unter Hitler, which will appear later this year as Bestsellers of the Third Reich: Readers, Writers and the Politics of Literature [Berghahn, 2021]).

The event was sponsored by the Keith Spalding Trust (University of London).