22. ilb 07. - 17.09.2022

Anne Weber

Portrait Anne Weber
© Ali Ghandtschi

Anne Weber, born in 1964 in Offenbach am Main, is a German author and literary translator. After graduating from high school, she moved to Paris, where she studied French literature and comparative literature at the Sorbonne and worked for various publishing houses between 1989 and 1996. She translates both into German (including Marguerite Duras and Pierre Michon) and into French (including Sibylle Lewitscharoff and Peter Handke).
The author’s interest in language-conscious and unusual forms of storytelling is evident in her debut, the short prose collection »Ida erfindet das Schießpulver« (tr: Ida invents gunpowder), first published in French in 1998 and then in German in 1999, in which Weber plays out a radical logic of world improvement. Subsequent books such as »Luft und Liebe« (2010; tr: Air and Love), »August. Ein bürgerliches Puppentrauerspiel« (2011; tr: August: A Bourgeois Puppet Tradegy), »Tal der Herrlichkeiten« (2012; tr: Valley of Glories) or »Ahnen. Ein Zeitreisetagebuch« (2015; tr: Ancestors: A Time Travel Journal) elude a clear genre categorization – the author finds her own distinctive form for each project. In »Kirio« – a »masterpiece between children’s fairy tale, picaresque novel, life wisdom parable, and saintly legend« – according to the »Süddeutsche Zeitung«, Weber tells a story of the good in the form of an enigmatic prodigy. At the centre of the novel, which is very rich in intertextual references and metaliterary reflections, is a saint without God who, walking on his hands, brings about the reversal of global conditions and unintentionally performs miracle after miracle. The novel, whose dramaturgy is indeed based on the legends of saints, is based on a polyphonic narrative construction whose ordering, omniscient main character in its shimmering indeterminacy – who is actually speaking here? – represents an unsolvable riddle between heaven and earth. Weber’s text »Annette, ein Heldinnenepos« (2020; tr: Annette: An Epic of a Heroine), which won the German Book Prize, is devoted to the life of a woman who remained human in the face of inhumanity: born in 1923, The French Anne Beaumanoir smuggled Jews out of German-occupied Paris at the risk of her life as a member of the Communist Resistance, and after the war she again went into resistance, this time against her own country, as a »suitcase carrier« for the Algerian independence movement. Weber chooses the unusual form of a largely rhymeless and metrically unbound verse epic. She does not tell an unbroken story of veneration, but one with a certain distance, for instance when it comes to Beaumanoir’s relationship to communism. »›Annette‹ is a wise epic. It doesn’t see things so narrowly – but it also doesn’t simply let anything pass, neither to its heroine nor to us«, judged the »taz«.
Anne Weber was awarded the 3sat Prize at the Ingeborg Bachmann Competition and the Kranichsteiner Literature Prize, among others, and was nominated for the Leipzig Book Fair Prize. She also received the European Translator’s Prize Offenburg and the Johann Heinrich Voß Prize for Translation. She lives in Paris.