Hannah Dübgen was born in Dusseldorf in 1977 and studied philosophy, literature and musicology at Oxford and in Paris and Berlin. After completing her studies she worked as a dramaturge in theatre and opera and wrote a number of works including the drama »Gegenlicht« (2007; tr. »Backlight«), as well as poetry and prose pieces and libretti for a number of operas. »Strom« (2013; tr. »Current«, 2013) is her first novel.
Hannah Dübgen received fulsome praise for her musical theatre chamber piece »Kryos« (2010), created in collaboration with composer Jörn Arnecke. Set in a bleak, frozen future following a climatic catastrophe, the opera enjoyed a successful premiere at Theater Bremen, noted particularly for the »pithiness of its libretto« (»Hamburger Abendblatt«). Shortly afterward Dübgen wrote the libretto for one of the most beloved classics of Japanese Nō theatre – »Matsukaze« (2011) – commissioned by the outstanding Berlin choreographer Sasha Waltz. Under Waltz’s aegis and with the music of renowned composer Toshio Hosokawa, the stage piece was lauded as »somnambulistic theatre charged with melancholy« (»Frankfurter Rundschau«). Following a short music theory intermezzo under the title »Noah im Kalten Krieg« (2012; tr. »Noah in the Cold War«), in which she examined the failure of Igor Stravinsky’s late work »The Flood« in the 1960s, the author presents her first novel in August 2013 under the title »Strom« (tr. »Current«). The book relates four diverse stories set in Berlin, Paris, Tokyo and Tel Aviv, which only converge at their margins – an episodic novel which recalls such film classics as Robert Altman’s »Short Cuts« and Jim Jarmusch’s »Coffee and Cigarettes«. Dübgen skilfully brings together the lives of journalists and artists, investment bankers and scientists, who form a global daisy chain combining proximity and distance, rootlessness and familiarity. With precision and sensitivity she sketches the emotional reality of her protagonists and describes their desires, their fears and their conflicts, creating a sense of global experience, the experience of the currents which constitute our present.
Hannah Dübgen has been the recipient of several grants for her creative works. She has been supported by »Akademie Musiktheater heute« and the Ligerzer Opernwerkstatt in Switzerland and was a guest of the Artists’ Residence in Herzliya, Israel. She was nominated for Stadttheater Stuttgart’s playwright prize for her theatre piece »Gegenlicht«. Finally, in 2013, she was invited once again to participate in the Ingeborg-Bachmann-Preis competition in Kärnten. The author lives and works in Berlin.