23. ilb 06. – 16.09.2023

Cornelia Funke

Cornelia Funke was born in 1958 in the North Rhine-Westphalia town of Dorsten. She studied social education on Hamburg and then worked as an educator at an adventure playground while studying book illustration at the local University of Design. Her dissatisfaction with the texts in many illustrated children’s books motivated her to write her own ones.

Her fantastical youth novels soon became international bestsellers with print runs in the millions and have been translated into 35 languages. Funke also celebrated her breakthrough in the USA with »Drachenreiter« (1997; Eng. Dragon Rider, 2004) und »Herr der Diebe« (2000; Eng. The Thief Lord, 2000). The latter tells the adventures of a band of thieves made up of orphans in Venice who are lured with their leader – who generally runs around wearing a beak mask – onto a mysterious island. She gained a loyal readership with her six-volume series »Die Wilden Hühner« (2001–2009; tr. The Wild Chicks) and her long »Tintenwelt« trilogy (2003, 2005, 2007; Eng. Inkheart). While the former is a series about a group of girls living in the countryside and set very much in everyday life, the trilogy conjures up effectively a magically escapist and imaginary literary dimension around a parallel medieval universe. Funke has often been praised by the critics for the authentic way she presents the world of children and for the way she plays with language. Several of her novels have been adapted successfully for stage and screen. In cooperation with film producer, Lionel Wigram, she created the »Reckless« series of novels based on E. T. A. Hoffmann’s story »Nussknacker und Mausekönig« (Eng. The Nutcracker and the Mouse King), which is initially to be released in five volumes. While the first part »Steinernes Fleisch« (2010; Eng. Stone Flesh) showed its reverence of the Brothers Grimm, the next part »Lebendige Schatten« (2012) turns to the fairytale traditions from the Anglophone and francophone regions. In »Geisterritter« (2011), the young narrator becomes acquainted in an inhospitable boarding school with the ghost that houses in Salisbury Cathedral, and Funke cleverly integrates into the story classic genre elements within a narrative packed with tension.

In addition to her work as a writer, Funke is also involved in numerous humanitarian organisations and is engaged in international social projects. At the beginning of 2013, the Ludwig Gallery in Schloss Oberhausen presented a large exhibition of her illustration work. She has been awarded the Kalbacher Klapperschlange literary prize several times, as well as the Mildred L. Batchelder Award (2003), the literary prize by the Association of German Authors (2004), the Roswitha Prize (2008), a Bambi (2008) and the Federal Cross of Merit. »Time Magazine« listed her as one of the most influential people in the world in 2005 and, in 2009, she was also awarded the renowned Jacob Grimm Prize. Funke lives in Los Angeles




Hamburg, 1997

Herr der Diebe


Hamburg, 2000



Hamburg, 2003/2005/2007



Hamburg, 2011

Reckless – Lebendige Schatten


Hamburg, 2012