Ilija Trojanow

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Trojanow has repeatedly intervened in the current debate about surveillance practices, which led to a short-term ban on entry to the USA in 2013. Trojanow is an author for whom 'foreign' cultures have become an essential part of his own literary work. Thus, in times defined by migration and cultural exchange, his life and work show him to be an international and intercultural writer. Born in Sofia in 1965, his family fled to West Germany in 1971 for political reasons. He grew up in Kenya, lived since 1999 in Mumbai/India, then in Cape Town/South Africa, today in Vienna.

Image: Harald Krichel (Wikimedia Commons; CC-BY-SA-4.0)
Ilija Trojanow (Hausach 2015)

His diverse life contexts have shaped not only his fiction, including his major novel Der Weltensammler (2007), but also his nonfiction, travel guides, etc. His extensive oeuvre includes as recent publications EisTau (novel), Der überflüssige Mensch and Wo Orpheus begraben liegt. Together with Juli Zeh, he published the book Attacks on Freedom even before the Snowden revelations. Sicherheitswahn, Überwachungsstaat und der Abbau bürgerlicher Rechte.

GPP event series with Ilija Trojanow

Ilija Trojanow took up the Grimm Poetics Professorship in June 2014. On June 2, he gave a lecture entitled "Of Power and Resistance". It was about "the third repetition of history, or the intersection of the novel project and political engagement." His June 3 seminar was titled "Evil in Literature" and discussed the difficulties of making evil literary. On June 4, Trojanow read (with recorded novel music) from his latest novel EisTau. The event began at 6 p.m. on each occasion.

Prizes and awards (selection):

  • 2000 Adelbert von Chamisso Prize
  • 2006 Leipzig Book Fair Prize, fiction category
  • 2006 Villa Aurora Fellowship
  • 2007 Berlin Literature Prize
  • 2007 Tübingen Poetics Lectureship (together with Feridun Zaimoglu)
  • 2009 Prize of the Literature Houses
  • 2010 Würth Prize for European Literature
  • 2010 Honorary membership in the German Language Association
  • 2011 Carl Amery Literature Prize