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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.
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.