Anke Stelling

Portrait Anke Stelling
© Rottkay

 

Anke Stelling was born in Ulm in 1971. She grew up in Stuttgart, studied at the German Institute for Literature in Leipzig, and has published several novels. Her novel »Bodentiefe Fenster« (2015; tr: Floor-to-Ceiling Windows) was on the long list for the German Book Prize and was described as »a deeply sarcastic and deeply sad reckoning with the ideals of the West German post-war period« (Zeit Online). This was followed by »Fürsorge« (2017; tr: Caring), a story about a mother who enters into a relationship with her son who had grown up with his grandmother. In 2018, she released »Schäfchen im Trockenen« (tr: Sheep in the shed), in which the main character Resi describes the breakup of her group of friends: thanks to a family inheritance, the old friends are able to build their own home while Resi is left to figure out what to do. The novel was awarded the Leipzig Book Fair Prize.

Stelling’s first children’s book »Erna und die drei Wahrheiten« (2017; tr: Erna and the Three Truths« is a story about 11-year-old Erna, who lives with her family in a community housing project and goes to an alternative school in Berlin. Although everyone around them is friendly and tolerant, Erna exposes injustices and the double standards of the adult world. Deutschlandfunk selected the novel for the list of the best seven books for young readers. Additionally, the book was included in the 2017 »White Ravens« catalogue, which annually highlights two hundred international picture, children’s, and young adult books, based on their innovative literary and visual design as well as their ability to convey universal topics to a wide audience. »Freddie und die Bändigung des Bösen« (2020; tr: Freddie and the Taming of Evil) is her second children’s novel. Stelling’s book follows Freddie and Mattis, who have been friends since preschool. The story picks up after their preschool days, after they have been going to school for quite some time. Mattis is cheeky and thinks only of jokes. Freddie is rather reserved but, if Mattis does something, he still participates. But even the oldest of friendships have their limits.

In 2019 Stelling received the Friedrich Hölderlin Prize of the City of Bad Homburg for her literary work. The selection committee praised her work by stating that »Anke Stelling’s prose analyzes contemporary middle-class society in a highly sensitive way … Just as curious as sometimes angry, but above all with the actual forms of knowledge of the poetic: with accuracy, sensitivity and wit.« The author lives in Berlin with her family.