Jenny Erpenbeck and Kaja Schjerven Mollerin
In German Jenny Erpenbeck’s most recent novel in Norwegian, The End of Days, her main character dies a total of five times; first as a baby, then as a young girl in a Europe between two world wars, then as a revolutionary fallen from grace in one of Stalin’s Siberian camps, then as a celebrated East-German writer and lastly as a 91 year old in a nursing home in a reunited Berlin.
Erpenbeck is considered one of Germany’s leading contemporary writers. In an original, sharp and truly characteristic voice, Erpenbeck puts Europe’s recent history into writing. The Jewish pogroms prior to world war two, the choices and fates of individuals in the face of our century’s revolutionary powers, and how the aftermath of these choices plays out in contemporary Germany.
The End of Days has been awarded the Hans Fallada Prize (2014) and the Independent Foreign Fiction Prize (2015). Erpenbeck was first translated into Norwegian in 2017 with the novel Go, Went, Gone, which was recently longlisted for the International Man Booker Prize. The novel tells the story of a retired Classics professor who takes an interest in a group of hunger striking African migrants and their destiny, another piece of central history in a finely tuned literary form.
At Litteraturhuset, Erpenbeck will meet literary critic Kaja Schjerven Mollerin in conversation.