Felicitas Hoppe was born in Hameln, Germany in 1960. She studied rhetoric, literature and religion in Tübingen, the USA, Rome and in Berlin and worked as a journalist and language teacher. In 1996 her first short story collection, »Picknick der Friseure« (t: Hairdressers’ picnic), was published. These short prose pieces were already marked by a very individual style. Fairytale-like, surreal plot developments are narrated in a snappy, carefree tone accompanied by playful changes in temporal continuity and an interweaving of layers of meaning, unfolding into irritating, comical and catastrophic outcomes. Citation, allusion, self-reference, word play and figures of speech are her preferred linguistic features, employed with lightness and precision in her textual collages, with travel and leave-taking as the dominant motifs.
Hoppe was awarded the ZDF’s Aspekte Literature Prize for her début and with her pr ize money embarked on a journey around the world on a container freighter. Her im pr essions went into the novel »Pigafetta« (1999), and were interwoven with the fictional account of a historical companion of Magellan, on his world expeditions. Travels through countries, history and literature are also undertaken in »Paradiese, Übersee« (2003; t: Paradises, overseas), and »Verbrecher und Versager« (2004; t: Criminals and losers). The author herself reached as far as India, Indonesia, West Africa and Japan, lecturing and reading. Hoppe’s most recent novel is dedicated to the mystifying figure of Joan d’Arc and uses very well documented historical fact and the multitude of adaptations of the subject-matter to create »a bold play on words of metamorphoses and dressing up«, according to the jury of Bremen’s Literature Prize, who honoured the writer in 2007.
Among Hoppe’s further distinctions are a large number of grants as well as the Rauriser Literature Prize, the Nicolas Born Prize, the Heimito von Doderer Literature Prize and the Brothers Grimm Prize awarded by the city of Hanau. Hoppe is furthermore active as a lecturer and in 2005 held the Lectureship in Poetry at Wiesbaden Polytechnic, in 2006 she was Max Kade Distinguished Visiting Professor at Dartmouth College in Hanover, New Hampshire, and in 2007 Writer in Residence at Innsbruck University, also giving lectures in Poetics in Göteborg and Mainz.
Hoppe’s work also encompasses children’s books, among them »Drei Kapitäne« (1997; t: Three captains) and recently »Ingrids Affen« (2006; t: Ingrid’s monkeys). The author is currently working on retelling a medieval epic by Hartmann von Aue to be published next autumn under the title »Iwein Löwenritter« (t: Yvain, knight of the lion). She has been living and writing in Berlin since 1996.
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