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Borderless Mountains: Alpine Literature Meets the Rockies

: Oct 28 - Oct 29, 2017


Norbert Gstrein & Clemens J. Setz: Alpine Literature Meets the Rockies

Presented by the Goethe-Institut, Banff Centre for Arts and Creativity, and Toronto’s International Festival of Authors 

How does a chosen literary setting affect story, characters, voice? European and North American authors read from their “mountain” works and discuss how region and home define their writing.​​ The Goethe-Institut & Banff Centre invite two award-winning German-language authors for their Canadian debut to read from their works in translation and discuss with their local colleagues what mountain culture means to them.

Clemens J. Setz, born 1982 in Graz, described as “the prodigy of German literature” (Die Zeit) is one of the most acclaimed young European novelists and author of the novels “Indigo” and “Frequencies”. He is the winner of the Leipzig Book Fair Prize and the Ernst-Willner-Award at the Ingeborg Bachmann Competition in 2008, and “one of the highest hopes of German literature” (FAZ). For his complex and nuanced narratives his work is being compared to American postmodern novelists Pynchon and DeLillo. He lives in Graz, Austria.

Norbert Gstrein was born in 1961 in the Tyrolean Alps and studied mathematics in Innsbruck and at Stanford. At the 1989 Ingeborg Bachmann Festival, he won the Kärnten Prize for his work “The Jungle. A Prologue”. He is the author of several highly acclaimed novels, among them “The English Years” (1999), which won widespread critical acclaim in Germany and was awarded the coveted Alfred Döblin Prize. W.G. Sebald described it as “an exceptional work of prose fiction”. Other works include “A Sense of the Beginning” (2013). He is currently finishing his latest book, which begins and ends with Canada, out January 2018, from which he will read on his Canadian tour. With his novels, Norbert Gstrein has established himself as “one of the foremost raconteurs not only in the German-speaking world, but European literature as a whole” (FAZ). He lives with his family in Hamburg, Germany.

Canadian authors to be announced.

Program (details tba):

Reading, discussions and workshop during Banff Mountain Festival
28-29 October, 2017

Saturday, October 28, 7:30pm
Norbert Gstrein, Clemens J. Setz and Berlin-based author Julia Franck will be in conversation. Julia Franck’s participation is made possible by The Coalition of Women in Germany.
Margaret Greenham Theatre
Tickets on sale in August (Adult $15)

Curated by Jutta Brendemühl & Devyani Saltzmann



The Goethe-Institut is the Federal Republic of Germany’s cultural institute, active worldwide. We promote the study of German abroad and encourage international cultural exchange. With our network of Goethe-Instituts, Goethe Centres, cultural societies, reading rooms and exam and language learning centres, we have been the first point of contact for many with Germany for over sixty years. Our long-lasting partnerships with leading institutions and individuals in over ninety countries create enduring trust in Germany. We are partners for all who actively engage with Germany and its culture, working independently and without political ties. In Canada we are represented by three Goethe-Instituts in Montreal, Ottawa, Toronto. Outside of these cities we offer special online courses as well as examinations centres with...
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