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Esther Dischereit (Germany)

Esther Dischereit
Esther Dischereit

Esther Dischereit, described by her publisher, Suhrkamp Verlag, as "possibly the preeminent German-Jewish voice of the post-Shoah generation", was born in Heppenheim, Germany, in 1952 and now lives in Berlin. She has published fiction, poetry, and essays, and is a prolific writer for radio and the stage. Her first novel Joëmis Tisch - Eine jüdische Geschichte (Joëmi's Table - A Jewish Story), was published by Suhrkamp in 1988. It was followed by the novel Merryn (Merryn; Suhrkamp, 1992), two volumes of essays - Übungen jüdisch zu sein (Exercises in Being Jewish; Suhrkamp, 1998) and Mit Eichmann an der Börse (With Eichmann at the Stock Exchange; Ullstein, 2001) - as well as by several volumes of poetry: Als mir mein Golem öffnete (When My Golem Opened Up; Stutz, 1996), Rauhreifiger Mund oder andere Nachrichten, (Hoar-frosted Mouth or Other News; Vorwerk 8, 2001), Im Toaster steckt eine Scheibe Brot (There's a Slice of Bread in the Toaster; Vorwerk `8, 2007).

Dischereit's more recent publications include a collection of short stories, Der Morgen an dem der Zeitungsträger (The Morning the Paperboy; Suhrkamp, 2007) and Vor den Hohen Feiertagen gab es ein Flüstern und Rascheln im Haus (Before the High Holy Days the House was Full of Whisperings and Rustlings; AvivA, 2009), the book adaptation of a sound-installation conceived as a Holocaust memorial and tribute to the former Jewish citizens of the city of Dülmen. Her opera-project Blumen für Otello. Über die Verbrechen von Jena (Flowers for Otello. On the Crimes of Jena), dedicated to the victims and their families of a series of racist killings perpetrated in Germany between 2000 and 2007, was published by Secession Verlag in 2014 and premiered as a radio play in 2014, when it was nominated for the ARD Prize for Radio Drama. In August 2014 Dischereit's sound installation Particles of the Child with the Big Face opened in the MuseumsQuartier in Vienna. The installation in fact drew on a longer prose narrative, published under the title Grossgesichtiges Kind (The Child with the Big Face; De Gruyter, 2015).

The founder of the avant-garde project WordMusic, Dischereit has also worked as a curator for various projects in contemporary art / new media. Her film A Dress from Warsaw - a co-production with director Mihal Otlowski - was shown at the Ashkelon Film-Festival "Jewish Eye" in 2008 and nominated for the Prix Genève in 2007.

She has been a Fellow at the Moses Mendelssohn Centre for European and Jewish Studies and the DAAD Chair for Contemporary Poetics at New York University (2019), and holds frequent lectures and readings in the United States, Canada, the Middle East, the Americas and Europe. In 2009 she received Austria's prestigious Erich Fried Prize for her writing.