Olivia Wenzel with Martin Schwartz

We go over the Atlantic for this noon hour (Seattle time) virtual program with German writer Olivia Wenzel, for her totally captivating debut novel, 1,000 Coils of Fear (translated by Priscilla Layne, Catapult). Set back in forth in all-too contemporary Berlin and New York (election night 2016 features), this story of a young Black German woman finding her way through and into life carries delights and insights galore.

"This novel’s mixed-race young narrator interrogates her own painful past and confusion of selves—German Angolan, child of an East Germany erased by unification, boy lovers girl lovers, badass and vulnerable, cowering and defiant—in a voice so exuberant, inventive, brainy, sensitive, and hilarious that it’s like a pyrotechnic flare illuminating the whole woman, past and present, radiant, unique, a voice and a novel to take with us into the future." —Francisco Goldman.

Olivia Wenzel’s bold and exceptional novel, 1,000 Coils of Fear, tells stories in many voices—of her estranged family, of female and male lovers, of her nation, once home to Nazis and the KGB, still inhospitable to immigrants, and to its Black German author. Wenzel’s novel is not just of and from contemporary Germany, it proposes a different German novel. Her impressive writing, born of a brilliant mind, surprises—stylistically, and by its frankness and associations. An uncompromising consciousness leaps from sentence to sentence, city to city, in love, depressed, alienated, afraid, and contradictory. She is asked, ‘Where are you?’ She asks, ‘Where am I?’ I rode in the passenger seat, beside the beauty and strangeness of 1,000 Coils of Fear.” —Lynne Tillman.

Joining Olivia Wenzel in conversation will be Martin Schwartz, who was program curator of the just-now shuttered Goethe Pop-Up, a sad development as Goethe Pop-Up Seattle has been a bright light on the cultural horizons here these recent years. Their work will be missed. 

Virtually hosted by Elliott Bay Book Company, with thanks to the good work of Goethe Pop-Up Seattle until its June 30 closing.




1,000 Coils of Fear: A Novel By Olivia Wenzel, Priscilla Layne (Translated by) Cover Image
By Olivia Wenzel, Priscilla Layne (Translated by)
ISBN: 9781646220502
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Catapult - July 5th, 2022

Virtually Hosted by Elliott Bay Book Company
Wednesday, July 6, 2022 - 12:00pm
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