July Toe

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Literarily and politically, Juli Zeh has been one of the most influential German writers for many years. In her works, the lawyer with a doctorate in law addresses topics of legal philosophy as well as questions of cohesion and living together, of norms, power structures, and cultural freedom. Most recently, she published the novel Unterleuten (2016), in which she depicted social structures in a Brandenburg village from the perspective of various residents.

Image: Heike Huslage-Koch (Wikimedia Commons)
Juli Zeh (Leipzig Book Fair 2016)

In addition to her literary work, Zeh has repeatedly appeared with contributions to social and political debate. "Juli Zeh has demonstrated in several public campaigns that political commitment must not be allowed to degenerate into mere lip service," said Prof. Dr. Stefan Greif, Professor of Modern German Literature and member of the selection committee. "Among them are internationally published statements on the Bosnian war and the petition handed over to the Federal Press Office in 2013 to clarify the NSA spying attacks."

GPP event series with Juli Zeh

In her inaugural public lecture on June 20 (6 p.m.), Ms. Zeh spoke about her self-image as a novelist, playwright and children's book author under the title "Eine Seite (von mir)" ("A Page (of Me)"). The following day (June 21, 8 p.m.), she read from her works at the University of Kassel. In addition, there was a seminar open to the public at the university as part of the teaching program of the Institute for German Studies with the title "Eine Seite (von euch)".

Prizes and awards (selection):

  • 2002 German Book Prize
  • 2003 Hölderlin Sponsorship Award
  • 2008 Prix Cévennes
  • 2009 Carl-Amery Literature Prize
  • 2010 Heinrich Heine Guest Lectureship
  • 2013 Frankfurt Poetics Lectures
  • 2013 Thomas Mann Prize
  • 2014 Hoffmann von Fallersleben Prize
  • 2015 Hildegard von Bingen Prize for Journalism