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Online, 30 May 2020

This virtual Encounter features Laura Freudenthaler, one of the most interesting and best-known voices in recent Austrian literature, speaking to acclaimed translator Tess Lewis. The digital exchange gives a fascinating insight into the working relationship between the two, as well as Freudenthaler’s latest novel Geistergeschichte (Ghost Story), which is currently being translated by Lewis.

Tess Lewis and Laura Freudenthaler
Tess Lewis (© Sarah Schatz) and Laura Freudenthaler (© Marianne Borowiec)

Laura Freudenthaler was born in Salzburg in 1984 and studied German Literature and Philosophy in Vienna, where she now lives and works. Her first publication was a collection of short stories entitled Der Schädel der Madeleine in 2014, which was followed by the novel Die Königin schweigt (winner of the Förderpreis zum Bremer Literaturpreis in 2018). Geistergeschichte is her second novel, for which she was awarded the European Union Prize for Literature last year. She was nominated for the 2020 Ingeborg Bachmann Prize, which will be awarded in June. Freudenthaler was to have been the 2020 writer-in-residence at the Austrian Cultural Forum and Ingeborg Bachmann Centre, and we look forward to her residency as soon as circumstances allow.

Tess Lewis is a widely acclaimed translator from both German and French, her translations including works by Austrian authors Hans Magnus Enzensberger, Peter Handke, Alois Hotschnig, Julya Rabinowich, and Doron Rabinovici. She has been awarded numerous grants and and several Fellowships. Her translation of Maja Haderlap’s Angel of Oblivion, was awarded the 2017 PEN Translation Prize. She is Co-Chair of the PEN America Translation Committee and Advisory Editor of the Hudson Review.

This Encounter is co-organised and the recording produced by the Austrian Cultural Forum and the Ingeborg Bachmann Centre for Austrian Literature & Culture