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German novelist reads her work on campus

Though her novels reflect her experiences living in Germany, writer Julia Schoch hoped students on campus interested in German culture could relate to her stories.

Schoch is a German novelist and translator who read from her novel, “With the Speed of Summer,” in both English and German to a crowd of 30 people at Shatzal Hall Monday night.

“I couldn’t write about Bowling Green because I am in the town right now,” Schoch said. “The time has to elapse before I write. You have to look back and understand that intense thing that has moved you.”

Schoch was brought to the University by the Department of German, Russian and East Asian Languages as the annual Max Kade writer in residence. The program features a yearly author from a German-speaking country who gives a presentation about their culture to various colleges.

Christina Guenther, associate professor in the GREAL department, said the office has brought novelists each year for more than 25 years to the University. Each year the writers spend 12 weeks at the University during a semester and hosts a workshop to explain their writing in detail.

“The purpose of Writer in Residence is to give the community some experience to German culture,” Guenther said. “[Schoch] is from East Germany and grew up there. It’s a particular interest to us because she is culturally oriented.”

Schoch said the crowd was energetic and interested in her novel and that the reading had a positive turnout.

“The reading I read tonight is something that has touched me deeply while writing it,” Schoch said. “[Writing] is a very intense experience. It involves something dramatic in your life.”

Jacob Weinmann, freshman, attended the reading and said he is interested in German culture. He knows the basics of the language and can understand it well.

“I thought it was a great reading,” Weinmann said. “I thought she spoke fluently.”

The University chose Schoch to read her novel because it was how Guenther had first gotten to know the German novelist. Many students within the department have read the book and are familiar with the content.

“It deals with how life goes on in a sense,” Guenther said. “It’s very poetic.”

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