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London, 23 May 2018

This Encounter focused on Kerstin Hensel’s narration Tanz am Kanal (1997) and Jen Calleja’s translation, published earlier this year as Dance by the Canal with Peirene Press. Dance by the Canal tells the story of a woman who fails to find her place in society – neither in communist GDR nor in the capitalist West. Her refusal to conform to the patriarchal structures of both societies forces her into ever-increasing isolation.

Hensel Calleja Image R

Kerstin Hensel was born in 1961 in Karl-Marx Stadt in former East Germany and studied in Leipzig. She has published over 30 books: novels, short story collections, poetry and plays. She has won numerous prizes, including the Anna-Seghers prize as well as the Lessing prize for her entire body of work.

Jen Calleja is a literary translator from German into English, a writer, editor and musician. She was recently Translator-in-Residence at the British Library.

This event was sponsored by the Keith Spalding Bequest