Julia Weber

Portrait Julia Weber
Julia Weber [© Ayşe Yavaş]

Julia Weber was born in 1983 in Moshi, Tanzania, and grew up in Zurich. After an apprenticeship as a photographer’s assistant, she studied literary writing at the Swiss Literature Institute in Biel. In 2012, she founded the Literaturdienst [tr: Literature Service]: an offer by the author to appear at events with her typewriter and write texts there, such as portraits of guests or documentation of the celebration. In 2015, together with the Swiss writer Gianna Molinari, she launched the action group »Literatur für das, was passiert« [tr: Literature for What’s Happening], which follows the same principle as the Literaturdienst, with the participating writers donating their earnings to refugees. She is also co-founder of the RAUF feminist writers’ collective, whose goal since 2019 has been to improve the visibility and position of women in the literary world.

In 2017, Julia Weber made her literary debut with »Immer ist alles schön« [tr: Everything is Always Beautiful]. The novel centers on two siblings, Anais and Bruno, whose single, alcoholic mother works as a dancer in a nightclub. Told alternately from the perspective of the mother and the daughter, readers get a picture of why the mother is incapable of caring, as well as of the alternative world the children create for themselves through their imagination. The »NZZ« found that »Shattered dreams, failed hopes – this is what this book speaks of, whose cosmos is small and yet encompasses a world: a childhood that leaves indelible traces. The text tells of it so quietly and with such composure that one’s breath catches in one’s throat.« The novel was awarded, among others, the international Franz Tumler Literature Prize and the Alfred Döblin Medal of the University of Mainz, and was shortlisted for the Swiss Book Prize.

Julia Weber’s second novel »Die Vermengung« [tr: The Mixture] was published in 2022. The starting point of the novel is a very personal one: while working on her second book, the author became pregnant with her second child. Worried that family life might make the space for her writing too small, Julia Weber entered a conversation with her characters. The titular mixture of everyday life and art also takes place on the literary level, with childhood memories, conversation transcripts, letters, and essayistic passages intermingling. »Julia Weber narrates sensitively, in simple sentences, yet with powerful, and sometimes startling, imagery. ›Die Vermengung‹ is a personal and touching book full of poetry and subtlety, in which one likes to be entangled«, judged SRF.

The author lives in Zurich.

Date: 2022