The global expansion of immigrant literature


Cologne is not the capital of the literary world. But this week, it’s been a hub for many of the world’s greatest authors. Renowned critic Sigrid Löffler explains to DW the significance of ‘new world literature.’ – DW

Salman_RushdieLit.Cologne, which closes on March 22, is one of Germany’s largest literature festivals. Readings and discussions take place over 10 days in theaters and concert halls, bookstores and churches across the city on the Rhine River. Based on the number of sold-out events, it seems that Germany is into books – and into talking about them.

The epicenter of it all is the luxurious Hotel am Wasserturm, where the concentration of authors and panel hosts is particularly dense. The fact that lit.Cologne is so indulgent with its guests’ accommodations is a sign that, unlike many cultural events, the festival actually turns a euro or two.

Sigrid Löffler, one of the most distinguished literary critics in the German-language scene, is also present at the event. The Austrian author has just released her latest book, “Die neue Weltliteratur und ihre grossen Erzähler” (The new world literature and its great narrators). She used to be a part of the television show “Literary Quartet,” along with renowned and recently deceased critic Marcel Reich-Ranicki, and published the magazine “Literaturen.”

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