Leif Randt was born in Frankfurt/Main in 1983. His studies included creative writing and cultural journalism in Gießen, London and Hildesheim.
He was a finalist at the 14th Open Mike at the Literaturwerkstatt Berlin in 2006, wrote the screenplay for the never-released film »Innocence«, and won the jury prize in the KulturSPIEGEL competition in 2009. After all this, he published his debut novel »Leuchtspielhaus« (tr: Luminous Play House) in 2010, which went on to win the Nicolas Born Debut Prize of the Literature Commission of Lower Saxony. His 2010 short story » Lose Spekulationen über Erotik im Kino« (tr: Loose Speculations over Eriticism in Cinema) won the MDR Literature Prize. In 2011, he received the Ernst Willner Prize at the Ingeborg Bachmann Competition, in which he participated with an excerpt from his project »Schimmernder Dunst über Coby County« (2011; tr: Shimmering Haze over Coby Country). The story focuses on a young literary agent who lives in a fictional, apparently comfortable place inhabited by young, carefree creative people and maintains a relationship with a pianist. The utopia of an affluent society devoid of empathy and emotion was celebrated by the »FAZ« as an »almost epochal generation novel« and was awarded the Düsseldorf Literature Prize in 2012. Randt, often compared to other representatives of German pop literature, considers early Peter Handke as his literary model and sees himself as more influenced by cinema than literature. His third novel »Planet Magnon« (2015) was added to the »50 books of our time« list by »Spiegel«. The novel is built within the context of other American cultural works and follows two members of the Dolfin Collective as they travel through a computer-ruled universe in a post-democratic era of peace and self-control. The system is threatened by the Broken Heart Collective, a group whose use of corrupt relationships, uncontrolled feelings, and a failure to cope with the past stands in the way of the universal happiness of an ideal world. »As if the Star Wars inventor George Lucas had written a novel together with Jürgen Habermas, Germany’s most brilliant sociologist« (Denis Scheck). Randt’s most recent novel »Allegro Pastell« (2020), which was nominated for the Leipzig Book Prize, is about the love affair between a Frankfurt web designer and a Berlin writer. The novel, which has been described as »Germany’s Next Lovestory« tells the three-part story of the couple’s the long-distance relationship and is set in real locations around Hessen and Berlin.
Randt has been co-curator for the PDF and video label Tegel Media since 2017. His most recent awards include the Erich Fried Prize (2016) and residency grants in Japan (2016) and Ireland (2019). The author lives in Maintal and Berlin.