Olga Grjasnowa, Max Kade Writer-in-Residence is wearing a beige and black sweater and is seated in front of a window covered with blinds.

Olga Grjasnowa, Max Kade Writer-in-Residence

Lafayette College welcomed Olga Grjasnowa, the newest Max Kade Writer-in-Residence, to College Hill this semester. Formerly from Azerbaijan, Grjasnowa moved to Germany when she was 11 years old. She has written four novels, among them one about the experience of Syrian refugees (translated as City of Jasmine, 2017) and a work of nonfiction. Her work was adapted widely for cinema, theater, and radio, and translated into 15 languages. She has been awarded several prizes including the Dramatist Prize of the Wiener Wortstätten for her debut play, Mitfühlende Deutsche (Compassionate Germans). Below, Grjasnowa shares her thoughts on Lafayette and plans for the semester.

1. What literary projects are you working on currently?

I’m working on a novel which focuses on the contemporary post-Soviet-Jewish identity in Germany. Right now, I’m spending a lot of time at the library. I hope it will be published in Germany in spring 2024.

2. What other activities have you been involved in on campus? 

I recently attended an event at the Hillel House earlier this month and participated in a faculty panel discussion about Europe, Ukraine, Russia, and cultural transformation Oct. 21.

3. What is your favorite building on campus and why? 

I fell in love with the Kirby Library. It is one of the most beautiful rooms I’ve ever seen. The atmosphere there is very special.

4. Are you teaching any classes as a guest lecturer? 

I’ll be participating in GERM 322: Border Crossings in German-Speaking Culture and will be providing writing workshops there. 

5. What has been your favorite experience so far living within the Lafayette community?

I’ve gotten a very warm welcome, and my time at Lafayette has been inspiring and interesting. I feel very fortunate to be here.

Categorized in: Academic News, Featured News, German, Max Kade Haus, News and Features