Ann Cotten

The Quivering Fan - Stories

(German title: Der schaudernde Fächer)
ca. 251 pages
Ann Cotten
Foto: Ann Cotten
© Inge Zimmermann

Ann Cotten, born in Iowa in 1982, grew up in Vienna. She has been living in Berlin since 2006. In 2011, she spent four months in Nagoya, Japan.

For her first poetry collection, Fremdwörterbuchsonette (2007), she was awarded the Reinhard Preissnitz Prize and the Clemens Brentano Prize for Literature of the city of Heidelberg. For Florida-Räume (2010), she received the Hermann Hesse Literature Prize. In 2014, Ann Cotten was awarded the Adelbert-von-Chamisso-Prize; in 2015, she was the first recipient of the newly founded Klopstock-Prize for Contemporary Literature. In 2017, she was awarded the Hugo-Ball-Prize for her oeuvre

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Netherlands (Leesmagazijn)

Adelbert-von-Chamisso-Preis 2014


»… but as soon as the upper half of the eyelids close, a dangerous chaos begins.«

»I had several lovers into whose eyes, like in tea bowls, I wanted to immerse myself every night.«
The person thus speaking is not one to be impressed by emotions. But a sad student in a Pierrot costume catches her attention – and when he sits down on the steps in front of her one night, she takes him with her.

The courtyard of a Japanese university, a remote village in the Ukraine, clubs in Berlin, a long-distance bus in the Algerian desert night – such are the places through which the heroes of these stories move, always absorbed in one sight or another, always fleeing love, always seeking beauty.

Ann Cotten opens a sweeping, resplendent fan – sea cucumbers painted in watercolor on the one side, and on the other, people tangled up in affairs. The agility of her poetry returns transformed in these playful and cynical, guileless and yet irresistible stories.


»Here, with wit and wisdom, intuition and profound understanding, something is being worked on that furrows up the field of literature, so that something else new and different and – why not? – even beautiful can grow out of it.« Die Zeit

»[…] for that is precisely the point: that thinking is tenderness.« The Gap

»The revolution could appear like so: after writing tidy literary realism, Ann Cotten returns to German literature with this wild, hermetic provocation.« Ijoma Mangold, Die Zeit

English review by New Books in German >>


Ann Cotten reads from her new novel The Quivering Fan