Antje Rávik Strubel was born in Potsdam. After training to become a bookstore owner, she studied literature, psychology, and American studies in Potsdam and New York.
She has established herself as one of the most important German writers since the beginning of her writing career in 2001. In that year, she was awarded the Ernst Willner Prize at the Festival of German-Language Literature in Klagenfurt and published both her first novel, »Offene Blende« [tr: Open Blinds], as well as the episodic novel »Unter Schnee« [Eng. »Snowed Under«, 2008]. Critics have praised her choice of subject matter – her first two works deal not only with the confrontation between East and West, but also with female homosexuality – as well as her stylistic elegance: Writing about »Unter Schnee«, the »FAZ« stated that »The concise, straightforward sentences condense into a prose full of magic.« Her novel »Tupolev 134« , is based on a true incident: the hijacking of a Polish plane to West Berlin in 1978. Her novel »Kältere Schichten der Luft« [2007; tr: Colder Layers of Air], set in a canoe camp in Sweden, was nominated for the Leipzig Book Fair Prize and was awarded the Rheingau Literature Prize and the Hermann Hesse Prize. The »WELT« described the work as »An almost old-masterly work of linguistic art: woven from sentences such as have become quite rare in their flawlessness, their precision, their darkly luminous depth«. »Sturz der Tage in die Nacht« [2011; tr: When Days Plunge into Night], about a young man who falls in love with a woman without suspecting that she is his mother, was on the longlist for the German Book Prize. The episodic novel »In den Wäldern des menschlichen Herzens« [2016; tr: In the Forests of the Human Heart], which revolves around the multifaceted relationships of its eight protagonists, also received much attention. The »ZEIT« has described Antje Rávik Strubel as »a master of condensing bodies, sex and nature«. She was awarded the German Book Prize for her 2021 novel »Blaue Frau« [2021; tr: Blue Woman]. According to the jury, the author describes how a young Czech woman escapes from her memories of a sexual assault »With existential force and poetic precision«. Her most recent publication is »Es hört nie auf, dass man etwas sagen muss« [2022; tr: One Never Stops Needing to Say Something], a collection of essays and speeches.
The author was a fellow at Villa Aurora in Los Angeles and writer in residence at the Helsinki Collegium for Advanced Studies. In 2019, she received the Literaturhäuser Prize. Antje Rávik Strubel is also a translator from English and Swedish and has translated works by Joan Didion, Monika Fagerholm, Lucia Berlin, and Virginia Woolf, among others, into German. She lives in Potsdam.