Regina Dürig

Portrait Regina Dürig
© Ali Ghandtschi

Regina Dürig, born in 1982 in Mannheim, grew up in Odenwald and studied Communication in Social and Economic Contexts in Berlin and Literary Writing in Biel, Switzerland.
Dürig made her début as a children’s and young adult author in 2011 with »Katertag. Oder: Was sagt der Knopf bei Nacht?« (tr: Hangover Day – What does the Button say at Night?). She had already won the 2010 »Der goldene Pick« writing contest with the unpublished manuscript; the published book was nominated for the 2012 Deutscher Jugendliteraturpreis. In her début, Dürig addresses the difficult topic of alcoholism from the perspective of a child: Nico’s happy childhood ends when his father begins to drink and the family nearly collapses under the ensuing stress. Nico finally writes his father a furious letter expressing his disappointment and listing all of the lowest points from the past. Dürig’s children’s book »Weisst du, welches Tier?« (2015; tr: Do You Know Which Animal?) is aimed at preschool children and is both a storybook and an animal lexicon. It presents 17 animals, each of whom would like to have the traits and abilities of the animal on the next page; the circle is completed with the last animal in the book wishing to be like the first. Regina Dürig won the Peter Härtling Prize for her »artful language and sensitive narrative approach« in the manuscript of her young adult novel »2 ½ Gespenster« (2015; tr: 2 ½ Ghosts). In the book, she tells the story of 16-year-old Jonna, who is fascinated by an older boy named Leo who wears red cowboy boots. His background is unknown; he shows up out of nowhere at the back-street printer where Jonna’s father works, gets a temporary job there, and infiltrates the place. Dürig portrays Jonna’s troubled love for Leo with unusual imagery and deep empathy, describing how Jonna ultimately must realize that secretive Leo is not just cool, but first and foremost destructive, preferring to distance himself from any sort of commitment. The »Bieler Tagblatt« praised the novel, writing: »Without any preaching or do-goodery, Regina Dürig succeeds in telling a story about how difficult interactions really are.«
Dürig has worked at the Literature Institute in Biel since 2010. In addition to leading writing workshops, she works as an author and performer with dancers and visual artists such as the Berlin illustrator Nadia Bader as well as the musician Christian Müller in the duo »Butterland«. In 2014, their audio documentary »Childhood Stories China« won the jury prize at the Swiss »sonOhr« Radio & Podcast Festival. The author lives in Biel.