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Angel of Oblivion: Reading and Conversation with Maja Haderlap

  • Austrian Cultural Forum DC 3524 International Court Northwest Washington, DC, 20008 United States (map)

A prize-winning Austrian-Slovene novelist, poet, playwright, and translator, Maja Haderlap will discuss her novel Angel of Oblivion, recently translated into English by Tess Lewis and published by Archipelago Books. The novel won the highly prestigious Ingeborg Bachmann prize in 2011 and, in 2015, France’s Prix du Premier Roman. The book's translator Tess Lewis received the 2016 ACFNY Translation Award.

Angel of Oblivion (Angel pozabe in Slovenian, Engel des Vergessens in German) is inspired by the experiences of Maja Haderlap’s family and the Slovenian-speaking minority in southern Austria, many of whom fought as partisans against the Nazis during the Second World War. The story centers around a young girl learning to navigate the terrain between two hostile communities and two extremely burdened languages: Slovenian, a language of heroic resistance and continued humiliation; and German, an escape from her stifling rural upbringing but also the language of the camps which her grandmother barely survived and many other family members did not. Engaging with themes of tolerance and integration, the weight of history, the effects of conflicts on survivors and their children, and language’s role in shaping identity, Haderlap’s novel strikes at problems of paramount importance to our world today. 

Where: Austrian Cultural Forum, 3524 International Court, NW, Washington, DC, 20008

Tickets: General admission is free and open to the public. Please reserve your ticket at:

The event is presented in cooperation with the Embassy of Slovenia and followed by a reception featuring a selection of Austrian and Slovenian wines and pastries.