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Richard Powers Currently Samuel Fischer Visiting Professor

U.S.-American Author Spending Summer Semester Teaching at Freie Universität

№ 103/2009 from May 04, 2009

The U.S.-American author, Richard Powers, is teaching at Freie Universität Berlin during the current summer semester. He is the latest Samuel Fischer Visting Professor. His seminar "Factitious Fiction, Fictitious Fact" will be held every Wednesday from 4:00 to 6:00 p.m., beginning May 6, 2009, in Room L 115, Habelschwerdter Allee 45 at Peter Szondi Institute of Comparative Literature, Freie Universität Berlin.

The 52-year-old author, Richard Powers, is one of the most prominent contemporary American authors. He was born in 1957 in Illinois and spent a great deal of his youth in Bangkok. After completing a degree in literature, his first job was as a computer programmer. A photograph by August Sander of three farmers from Westerwald on their way to a celebration inspired him to write his first novel, Three Farmers on Their Way to a Dance, that was published in 1985. His book Operation Wandering Soul was a finalist for the National Book Award for Fiction in 1993. His critically acclaimed novel, The Echo Maker, won a National Book Award in 2006 and was also a finalist for the  Pulitzer Prize for Fiction. Currently also a professor at his alma mater, the University of Illinois, Powers has written over nine novels. Galatea 2.2, Gain, and Plowing in the Dark were followed by The Time of Our Singing (Klang der Zeit, 2004, S. Fischer) and The Echo Maker (Das Echo der Erinnerung, 2006, S. Fischer).

Known for his ability to juggle various narrative strands, Richard Powers is very successful in interweaving his interest in diverse disciplines. Literature, music, and above all, the sciences, are a focus in Powers' search of what constitutes human consciousness. His latest novel, Generosity: An Enhancement, will be published in the fall of 2009.

Samuel Fischer Visiting Professorship for Literature at Freie Universität

The Samuel Fischer Visiting Professorship for Literature was jointly instituted in 1998 by S. Fischer Verlag, DAAD, Freie Universität Berlin, and the Veranstaltungsforum der Verlagsgruppe Georg von Holtzbrinck, at the Institute of Comparative Literature at Freie Universität Berlin. Previous Samuel Fischer Visiting Professors include celebrated authors such as the Nobel laureate in literature, Kenzaburô Ôe, Marlene Streeruwitz, Feridun Zaimoglu, Etgar Keret, Alberto Manguel, Yann Martel, and most recently, Raoul Schrott.

Related Events:

  • Reading by Richard Powers in the Schaubühne am Lehniner Platz,
    May 16, 2009, at 7:30 p.m.
    with Moderation by Gregor Dotzauer (Der Tagesspiegel)
  • Event on June 18,  2009, at 7:00 p.m. with Richard Powers and Eckart von Hirschhausen
    "The Book of Me" on the theme of happiness in the Kunst- und Ausstellungshalle Bonn

Interview Requests and Further Information:

Christina Rühlmann
Tel.: 030 / 27 87 18 -22