Meet the author: Esther Kinsky

Sun 26.03.2023
16:30 - 17:30
Esther Kinsky copy Yves Noir 1


meet the author, interview


weekend pass: €35/32 (€37 supporting united stages) - day pass: €20/17 (€22 supporting united stages)


the preferential rate gives 3€ discount to all who benefit. paspartoe and article 27 accepted.


in english

German writer Esther Kinsky explores the boundaries of literature. Critics have yet to agree whether her work falls under the heading of fiction, autofiction or memoir. But they are all in agreement about her brilliant narrative style.

In River, we follow a woman who settles in a suburb of London, in a neighbourhood with a lot of immigrants. They all speak different languages and relate to the city in their own way. The woman takes long walks along the river Lea, exploring the places where city and country flow into one another. She describes how people from all over the world pass through it like a river.

In her latest novel, Rombo, seven inhabitants of a remote Italian mountain village talk about their lives and how they have been marked by natural disasters. Slowly but surely, they have learned to name the deep traces the quakes have left in their lives. They share experiences of fear and loss, but also have their own memories.

Kinsky writes about the banal and the sublime with equal dedication and attention. Through writing, she seeks to answer the question as to what place we as human beings can occupy in this world. Belgian poet Charlotte Van den Broeck joins her for a probing, meandering conversation.

about the author

Esther Kinsky (b. 1956) is a German author and translator. She received the Paul Celan Prize for her translations in 2009. For Grove, she received the Preis der Leipziger Buchmesse, one of Germany’s biggest literary prizes in 2018. A year later, the sequel, River, was published. Her most recent book, Rombo, was awarded the W.G. Sebald Literature Prize. In 2022 Kinsky saw her oeuvre awarded the prestigious Kleist Prize.

about the moderator

Charlotte Van den Broeck (b. 1991) is a Belgian author. Her first book of poetry, Kameleon, won the Herman De Coninck Debut Prize. Its successor, Nachtroer, earned her the triennial Paul Snoek Prize. Her poetry has been translated into German, French, English, Spanish, Afrikaans and Serbian. In October 2019 she published her prose debut, Waagstukken, an essayistic study of thirteen tragic architects who killed themselves after a fatal flaw in one of their designs was discovered. It has been published in English as Bold Ventures.

In Esther Kinsky’s new novel Rombo, language becomes the highest form of compassion and solidarity – not only with us human beings, but with the whole world, organic, non-organic, speaking out with many mouths and living voices. A miracle of a book; should be shining when it gets dark.
Maria Stepanova, author of In Memory of Memory

Don't forget daylight saving time. On Sunday, March 26, the time will change from 2:00 to 3:00.

ORG. Passa Porta, Uitgeverij Pluim, Goethe Institut

picture © Yves Noir

Coming soon at