Festival Neue Literatur: Small Town Discussion

Where: Deutsches Haus NYU, 42 Washington Mews, New York, NY

Free and open to the public

Authors: Martin Becker, Lorenz Langenegger, John Wray
In conversation with Daniela Strigl and Klaus Nüchtern

I hate being odd in a small town
If they stare let them stare in New York City
At this pink eyed painting albino
How far can my fantasy go?
John Cale / Lou Reed: “Smalltown”

German short-story author Martin Becker (Ein schönes Leben) and Swiss-born novelist Lorenz Langenegger (Hier im Regen) both write about being stuck in the provinces and trapped in the stifling atmosphere of a small town. Becker’s characters, despite their struggles, find a humorous side to their slightly surreal existence. Whereas Lorenz Langenegger’s protagonist is just not quite sure why he is where he is – in Bern. John Wray, an American with Austrian roots, set his first novel, The Right Hand of Sleep, in a fictitious Carinthian town. In his third novel, Lowboy, a schizophrenic teenager uses the confines of the subway tunnels to escape the constraints of his mind.

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