Writer in residence programme 2016

Frank Witzel as WiR in Amsterdam

1 Sep-25 October 2016

Leading up to the Frankfurter Buchmesse in October 2016, where the Netherlands and Flanders will be guest of honour this year, the main focus of our Amsterdam Writer’s Residency will be on German writers-in-residence. Author and musician Frank Witzel (Offenbach am Main, 1955) will be our WiR in September and October. Last year he was awarded the highest honor in German literature today, the German Book Prize for his latest novel, The Invention of the Red Army Faction by a Manic-Depressive Teenager in the Summer of 1969.

As the title suggests, the book revolves around the political struggles in East and West Germany during the Cold War. However, the novel is far from a political manifesto. Witzel tells the tale through the eyes of a 13-year old boy to depict the deep divides that existed in West Germany after WWII in a country where the threat of communism was confronted daily.

“In its blending of delusion and wit, formal audacity and historical panoramicity, the novel is unique in German-language literature. Frank Witzel ventures into the precarious terrain of speculative realism. The German Book Prize honors a brilliant linguistic work of art that is a vast quarry of words and ideas - a hybrid compendium of pop, politics and paranoia,” said the German Book Prize Jury in its press release.

The Dutch translation (by Josephine Rijnaarts) of this novel will by published in November by Lebowski. A new novel by Witzel will be published during his residency by his German publisher, Matthes & Seitz Berlin.

During his residency Frank Witzel will be on stage at the Birmingham Literature Festival on 8 October.

He will also give many public lectures in the Netherlands, for instance at de Boekenparade on Sunday 4 September, at the Goethe Institut Amsterdam on Thursday 29 September, at the German Embassy in The Hague and at festival Het Grote Gebeuren in Groningen on Saturday 5 November.

Furthermore Witzel will give a masterclass creative writing for a selection of students in the Dutch Slow Writing Lab.

Orli Austen


Orli Austen

Residency program

[email protected]