The Picador Professorship stands for the creative and diverse exchange between the USA and Germany. Since 2006 we welcome two authors each year to Leipzig, who enrich the students with their teaching at the university and the public with their readings. This summer everything will be different, but we are determined to maintain this strong connection and continue our valuable exchange. Especially now, cohesion and solidarity are important! Literature can bring us closer together because it introduces us to each other. It creates empathy and understanding in a world where there is far from enough of it. Identity, justice, anti-racism and feminism were topics that the visiting professors wrote about and discussed with their students. With various offers, we will remain in digital conversation and can hardly wait to revive the personal exchange in Leipzig, Berlin and other cities.
Alexander Chee in conversation with
In his autobiographically influenced debut novel "Edinburgh", published in the USA in 2001, Alexander Chee, author and political activist in the gay movement, tells of sexual assaults in a boys' choir; for this Alexander Chee was awarded several prizes. In the collection of essays "How to Write an Autobiographical Novel" (2018) he looks back on further stages in his life. It was rated one of the 'Best Books of the Year' by New York Magazine, Washington Post, Publishers Weekly and Time Magazine. Albino Verlag has now published both books for the first time in German (in the translation by Nicola Heine and Timm Stafe).
The author will read from both books and talk to Senthuran Varatharajah.
Alexander Chee is the author of the novels Edinburgh and The Queen of the Night, and the essay collection How To Write An Autobiographical Novel, all from Houghton Mifflin Harcourt. He is a contributing editor at The New Republic, and an editor at large at VQR. His essays and stories have appeared in The New York Times Book Review, T Magazine, Tin House, Slate, and Guernica, among others. He is winner of a 2003 Whiting Award, a 2004 NEA Fellowship in prose and a 2010 MCCA Fellowship, and residency fellowships from the MacDowell Colony, the VCCA, Civitella Ranieri and Amtrak. He is an associate professor of English and Creative Writing at Dartmouth College. In 2012/2013 he was Picador Visiting Professor at the University of Leipzig.
Senthuran Varatharajah, born in 1984, studied philosophy, Protestant theology and cultural studies in Marburg, Berlin and London. His debut novel "Vor der Zunahme der Zeichen" was published in 2016 by S. Fischer Verlag; for this he was awarded the Bremen Literature Promotion Prize 2017, the Adelbert von Chamisso Promotion Prize 2017 and the Rauris Literature Prize 2017, among others.