February 24, 2015 | Zeitgeist DC

German author Matthias Nawrat tells the story of a young girl in his novel Entrepreneur (Unternehmer). Thirteen-year-old Lipa is employee of the month in a special kind of family business. Together with her father and brother, she combs through the industrial ruins of the Black Forest looking for scrap items they can sell. Nawrat relates her story in a naïve way while simultaneously caricaturing our current achievement-oriented society.

Marjana Gaponenko (Ukraine/A/D) will presented her book Who is Martha (Wer ist Martha?). It tells the story of Luka Lewadski: a Ukrainian ornithologist and author. Old age has crept up on him while he was busy with his research and now he is ninety-six. He doesn’t have much time left, his doctor tells him. And he’s going to make good use of it, Lewadski tells himself. So he buys himself the most expensive cufflinks he can find and makes his way to Vienna and checks into a posh hotel, where some interesting things begin to happen.

Vertigo is the title of one of Swiss author Monique Schwitter’s stories in her 2011 collection Goldfish Memory (Goldfischgedächtnis). And you might well become dizzy when you read these unusual short stories. Are they true or not? "Whether this story is true, I don't know, but I've heard it so often, I can't imagine it wouldn't be." In the fifteen stories making up this collection, the characters often find themselves on shaky ground. Things are not easy for them: on the contrary.
Excerpts will be read in both German and English. The writers will introduce and discuss their work in English.