Monday, 31 March 2014

Swiss writer, Urs Widmer passes away

Pro Helvetia New Delhi announces the sad demise of Urs Widmer, one of the most famous contemporary authors in the German-speaking world.

Pro Helvetia New Delhi announces the sad demise of Urs Widmer, one of the most famous contemporary authors in the German-speaking world, who passed away in Zurich after a long illness. His visit to India in 2012 to participate in Literature Festivals and Readings in Hyderabad, New Delhi, Jaipur and Kolkata will be remembered by one and all. You will be dearly missed Urs... by all your fans around the world. RIP.


Swiss writer, Urs Widmer's India visit (2012)

Pro Helvetia New Delhi has invited Swiss playwright, essayist and short story writer, Urs Widmer to participate in the Hyderabad Literary Festival, Hyderabad; Long Night of Literature, New Delhi; Jaipur Literature Festival, Jaipur; and for a reading in Kolkatta organised by Seagull Books to mark the English translation of Urs Widmer's books My Mother's Lover (Der Geliebte der Mutter) and My Father's Book (Das Buch des Vaters) as part of The Swiss List, a collaboration with the Swiss Arts Council.

Urs Widmer will be accompanied by his translator Donal McLaughlin. Urs Widmer and Donal McLaughlin read together for the first time at the Edinburgh International Book Festival 2011 where My Mother's Lover was also nominated for the festival's Newton First Book Award.


Hyderabad Literary Festival, Hyderabad 
Date: Friday 16 January 2012 
Venue: Taramati Baradari, Hyderabad 
Event Details: Panel discussion and reading Noted Swiss writer Urs Widmer has been invited by the Hyderabad Literary Festival to participate in a panel discussion and read from works. Hyderabad plays host for the second time to writers from across the world, and the festival offers a unique opportunity for lovers of literature to listen to and interact with some of the best writers, established and upcoming. During the festival, which has invited Germany as the guest country, talks and discussion readings with Indian and German speaking authors will take place.
Entry: Festival rules apply  

Long Night of Literature, New Delhi
Date: Wednesday 18 January 2012 at 6:30 pm
Venue: The Multipurpose Hall, India International Centre, Delhi
Event Details: Reading In an effort to build audiences for contemporary writing in German in the Indian subcontinent, Pro Helvetia - Swiss Arts Council along with the Austrian Cultural Forum, the German Book Office and Max Mueller Bhavan will jointly host readings from prose and poetry. Urs Widmer has been invited to read from his books Der Geliebte der Mutter ( My Mother's Lover ) and Das Buch des Vaters (My Father's Book ), which were translated and published in English by Seagull Books as part of The Swiss List. He will be accompanied by Donal McLaughlin who will be reading from the translated works. The session will be moderated by Dr Rekha Kamath, Professor at the Centre of German Studies, Jawaharlal Nehru University.
Entry: Open to all

Jaipur Literature Festival, Jaipur
Date: Saturday 21 January 2011 at 12:30 pm
Venue: Diggi Palace, Jaipur
Event Details: Reading The Jaipur Literature Festival is a celebration of national and international writers and encompasses a range of readings, talks, literary lunches, debates and performances. Entering its fifth year, the festival has already hosted some of the best-known national and international writers & personalities. Urs Widmer and Donal McLaughlin have been invited to jointly read from their books Der Geliebte der Mutter ( My Mother's Lover ) and Das Buch des Vaters (My Father's Book ).
Entry: Open to All (photo ID required)

Reading organised by Seagull Books, Kolkatta
Date: Sunday 29 January 2012 at 7:00 pm
Venue: Seagull Books, 31A S. P. Mukherjee Road, Kolkatta 700025.
Event Details: To mark the occasion of the translation of Urs Widmer's books from German to English, Seagull Books is organising an evening of reading. My Mother's Lover (Der Geliebte der Mutter) was published last year as part of The Swiss List, followed by My Father's Book (Das Buch des Vaters). A dramatized reading by well known Bengali actor and film director, Parambrata Chattopadhyay in the presence of Urs Widmer and translator Donal McLaughlin will be followed by an interaction with the audience. 
Entry: Open to all

Urs Widmer, Switzerland
Urs Widmer was born in Basel in 1938. He studied German, Romance languages and History in Basel, Montpelier and Paris. in 1966 he completed his doctoral thesis on German post-war prose, and then worked as an editor for Walter Publishing House in Olten, Switzerland, and for Suhrkamp Publishing House in Frankfurt. In Frankfurt he stayed for 17 years, though with Suhrkamp only till 1968. Shortly afterwards he wrote Alois. Widmer has also enjoyed success as a playwright, an essayist and a short story writer. He has received a number of awards and honours such as the Karl Sczuka Price in 1974, the Literature Price of the City of Zurich in 1996, the Franz Nabl Price in 2001, the Great Literature Prize of the Bavarian Academy of Fine Arts in 2002, the Friedrich Holderlin Prize of the city of Bad Homburg, Prix litteraire Lipp (Geneva) in 2007. The strength of his work lies in the view of literary criticism in their fantasy, ironic spinning of trivial action schemes of classic adventure and travel history to parody and surreal. He has also translated books from English and French, among them Joseph Conrad's Heart of Darkness and dramatic works by Alexander Dumas and Eugene Labiche. Together with other editors he founded the Verlag der Autoren, an author-owned publishing house focussing on texts related to the performing arts. he is a member of the German Academy of Language and Literature in Darmstadt, the German Academy of Performing Arts in Bensheim, the Academy of Arts Berlin-Brandenburg and member of the Forum Stadtpark in Graz. Urs Widmer now lives and works as a writer in Zurich.

Organisers and Partners:
Hyderabad Literary Festival -
Jaipur Literature Festival -
Seagull Books -
Long Night of Literature - Austrian Cultural Forum, The German Book Office, Max Mueller Bhavan and India International Centre, New Delhi

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