Joanna Bator, who was born in 1968, published in important Polish magazines and newspapers and did research in Japan for several years before she gained international attention with her novel Sandberg. In 2014 she was awarded the Spycher: Literaturpreis Leuk for Sandberg and Wolkenfern. In 2013 she received the NIKE Literary Prize, Poland's most important literary award, for Dunkel, fast Nacht, which became a bestseller and sold more than 200,000 copies. Bator spent the 2015/2016 academic year in Berlin as a guest in the DAAD artist program.
The Siegfried Unseld Lecture of the Dahlem Humanities Center is being held for the third time at Freie Universität Berlin in cooperation with Suhrkamp Verlag. The two previous lectures were given by writers Volker Braun and Uwe Tellkamp. The lecture is held annually by writers who feel connected to Siegfried Unseld's publishing house and its program. The lectures deal primarily with the relationship between literature and society, for example, the relationship between literature and politics or contemporary history, or between literature and religion or myth. The invited speakers may choose their own topic. With this series of lectures, Freie Universität aims to contribute to the public dialog between literature, the media, and the humanities as well as the role of the university as a place of intellectual exchange between art and academia.