Hilary Leichter in conversation with Svenja Gräfen

Hilary Leichter is the current Picador Guest Professor for Literature at the University of Leipzig. She is the author of the novel »Temporary«, a book which casts a hilarious and tender eye toward the struggle for happiness under late capitalism. The German translation »Die Hauptsache« was published by Arche Verlag in 2021.

Svenja Gräfen is a novelist and non-fiction writer based in Leipzig. In 2017, their debut novel »Das Rauschen in unseren Köpfen« was published by Ullstein fünf. The second novel »Freiraum« followed 2019. Most recently their first non-fiction book »Radikale Selbstfürsorge. Jetzt!« was published by Eden Books.

On July 1, Hilary Leichter read from her debut novel »Temporary« and talked with Svenja Gräfen about writing, books, Leipzig and the Picador Guest Professorship, work and much more at the Galerie für Zeitgenössische Kunst in Leipzig.
Hilary LeichterHilary Leichter

We proudly present: the next Picador Professor Hilary Leichter!

Hilary is the author of the novel Temporary, which was shortlisted for The Center for Fiction First Novel Prize, longlisted for the PEN/Hemingway Award, and was a finalist for the NYPL Young Lions Fiction Award. We are thrilled that she will be teaching at the University of Leipzig in the summer semester of 2022!

© Photo: Sylvie Rosokoff

©Rachel Eliza Griffiths

"I was a Picador Guest Professor in Literature in Leipzig (2010/2011). The position was very fulfilling and my creative writing students were dynamic, imaginative, and full of heart. Leipzig is wondrous."

Nathalie Handal in an interview with thebartleby.com.

Nathalie Handal is an award-winning poet, playwright, and writer. She has lived in Europe, the United States, the Caribbean, Latin America and the Arab world. In the winter semester 2010/11, Handal held the Picador Professorship at the University of Leipzig. Her latest book Life in a Country Album was published by the University of Pittsburgh Press.


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In 2006, Leipzig University, in co-operation with the German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD) and the Veranstaltungsforum of the Holtzbrinck Publishing Group, initiated the Picador Guest Professorship for Literature at the University of Leipzig aiming at conveying and critically reflecting on Anglo-American Literature. Public events are also offered in addition to the authors’ teaching activities as Picador Guest Professors. This takes place in collaboration with the creative arts and culture community of Leipzig.

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"Many of the questions we discussed were ones we had never thought about before for example the question of what our own “fundamental truth” is."

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