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During the 2009 protests in Iran, former student A. is forced to leave his country. He takes with him the memories of a childhood and youth full of violence. An artist becomes a refugee in Austria, who is openly despised and has to endure not only loneliness and despair, but also hunger and humiliation in camps and homes. In Vienna he meets Sarah, who falls head over heels in love with him. A., who cannot open up, is both an object of study and support for her, although he himself is looking for support.

About the hope of finding protection in a foreign language

Insistently and with great literary power, Amir Gudarzi tells of the perseverance of a person on the run. An important novel about foreignness and being an outsider, about courage, the power of language, love. "Gudarzi's novel goes to the heart of the violence, the invisible and inaudible, the glistening as well as the raw. These are the words of a young man fleeing Tehran and his native language, who cannot shake the pain of the repression he has suffered. His skin can he does not save, but a hope and his story." Julia Frank

reading and conversation

Moderator: Jonas Schönfeldt

Amir Gudarzi, born in Tehran in 1986, went to what was then the only theater school in Iran and then studied dramatic writing. Since 2009 he has been living in exile in Vienna, where he works as an Austrian playwright and author who has (now) received numerous awards. In 2021 he was a scholarship holder at the Literary Colloquium in Berlin and received the Promotional Prize for Literature from the City of Vienna. In 2022 he was awarded the Kleist Promotional Prize for young playwrights and the Christian Dietrich Grabbe Prize House author at the National Theater Mannheim. The End is Near is his first novel.

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by Amir Gudarzi