An overview of the 23rd ilb

“Our program aims to disrupt, broadens horizons and connects across borders.”

– Purpose of the ilb team 2023


in alphabetical order

Literatures of the World: Taqi Akhlaqi, PEN Berlin, Ulrich Schreiber, Dr. Simone Schröder
Reflections: Lavinia Frey, Dr. Nora Mengel, PEN Berlin, Ulrich Schreiber,
International Children’s and Youth Literature: Christoph Rieger, Henrike Schmidt
Literature behind bars: Anouk Krämer

Author recommendations

Lana Bastašić: Bosnian writer. Her debut novel “Uhvati zeca” (“Catch the Rabbit”) tells of a European road trip and the friendship of two girls. Her most recent book is the short story collection “Man in the Moon”, which she will present at ilb.

→ 14.9. 7:30 pm Lana Bastašić: Man in the Moon | HAUS DER BERLINER FESTSPIELE

Paolo Giordano: Italian author whose new novel “Tasmania” is a light-hearted tale of love and friendship and the search for meaning in times of climate change.

→ 11.9. 7:30 pm Paolo Giordano: Tasmania | HAUS DER BERLINER FESTSPIELE

Dinçer Güçyeter: Writer, poet and publisher. Awarded the prize of the Leipzig Book Fair in 2023. He often uses autobiographical sources in his writing, including photographs that appear to be taken from family albums. Major topic: the history of Turkish guest workers in Germany.

→ 15.9. 9:00 pm Dincer Güçyeter: Our Germany Fairy Tale | HAUS DER BERLINER FESTSPIELE

Werner Herzog: World-famous director and author of novels and essays. There are numerous references to literature in his work – whether off-screen narrative voices or literary references in the stories.

→ 14.9. 7:00 pm Landscapes in Trance. Werner Herzog: Reading and Discussion | HAUS DER BERLINER FESTSPIELE

Luisa Neubauer: Climate protection activist and publicist. Best-known German face of Fridays for Future.

→ 10.9. noon Democracies in danger? Talk with Armin Nassehi and Lora Anne Viola | Silent Green Kulturquartier

Adam Thirlwell: One of the important contemporary British authors. Postmodern, playful, at the same time a great, powerful storyteller.

→ 15.09. 15.09. 7:30 pm Adam Thirlwell: The Future Future | HAUS DER BERLINER FESTSPIELE


Ayanna Lloyd Banwo: author from Trinidad who has recently moved to London. Her euphorically received debut novel “When We Were Birds” is set in a Port Angeles cemetery, where a young Rastafarian works, around whom a love story unfolds. Published in German by Diogenes in 2023.

→ 11.9. 11.9. 9:00 pm Beyond Western Mythologies | HAUS DER BERLINER FESTSPIELE

→ 12.9. 5:30 pm Book Talk: Ayanna Lloyd Banwo and Ibtisam Azem | HAUS DER BERLINER FESTSPIELE Library

Bora Chung: Korean author who is best known for her short stories. These play with fantastic elements and horror motifs. “Cursed Bunny” was shortlisted for the International Booker Prize 2022 and will be published in German by Culturbooks in 2023.

→ 13.9. 6:00 pm New Magical Realisms with Ibtisam Azem, Bora Chung, Shehan Karunatilaka | HAUS DER BERLINER FESTSPIELE

Moshtari Hilal: Artist and author. Together with Sinthujan Varatharajah she published “English in Berlin” – an examination of linguistic inclusion and exclusion. In her volume “Hässlichkeit” (Hanser, 2023), she combines personal experiences with reflections on ideas of beauty in a very open, partly lyrical form. Her reading will be a mixture of performance with image projections and conversation.

→ 13.9. 7:30 pm Moshtari Hilal: Ugliness | HAUS DER BERLINER FESTSPIELE

Doireann Ní Ghríofa: multi-award winning Irish poet and essayist. Her texts revolve  around motherhood and desire, death and family. Powerfully narrated. “A Ghost in the Throat” (btb, 2023) is an example of the trend towards multilingualism in contemporary literature: she mixes Gaelic and English vocabulary in her texts.

→ 15.9. 6:00 pm Doireann Ní Ghríofa: A Ghost in the Throat  | HAUS DER BERLINER FESTSPIELE

→ 15.9. 7:30 pm Women as Geniuses and Art Monsters: Doireann Ní Ghríofa and Liana Finck | HAUS DER BERLINER FESTSPIELE

Sam Zamrik: born 1996 in Damascus, is a poet, musician and translator. He worked as a band manager and songwriter as part of the underground music movement New Wave of Syrian Metal and had to flee to Berlin. In 2022, Hanser Berlin published a volume of his poems, which deal, among other things, with life in exile, but also with physicality and desire.

→ 16.9. 7:30 pm Triad: Body, Protest, Lust | HAUS DER BERLINER FESTSPIELE

Event recommendations

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  • Claudia Roth is Patron.

  • Lavinia Frey is festival managing director

  • There will be a comic pop-up book fair on September 16th at the festival to accompany Graphic Novel Day. in the foyer of the Berliner Festspiele, in cooperation with ComicInvasion.

  • There is a festival hub in the ticket office, which acts as a central meeting point for all festival guests and visitors. There is also a library in the upper foyer of the Berliner Festspiele, where books by the authors can be read and free book talks (with Lloyd Banwo and Thirlwell, among others) are available for ilb newbies.

  • There will be a public reading as part of the literature behind bars series. 12.9. at 6:00 p.m. Deniz Utlu will present his new novel “Father’s Sea” in the JVA des offenen Vollzugs.