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Jana Beňová

Jana Beňová

Bereich: Literatur

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Juli 2020 - August 2020

geboren 1974 in Bratislava, Slowakei, Studium der Dramaturgie an der Akademie für darstellende Kunst.

Jana Benová lebt in der Slowakei und in Spanien, sie hat Lyrikbände, Kurzgeschichten und Romane publiziert. Für ihr Werk hat sie schon zahlreiche Stipendien und Preise erhalten, sie gilt als Kultautorin einer neuen, urbanen Schriftstellergeneration. Ihr Roman „Abhauen!“ ist 2013 erschienen. Für ihr Buch „Café Hyena“ hat sie den Literaturpreis der Europäischen Union 2012 erhalten.


Finishing the new novel I have been working on. The working title of the book is “Sola,“ which has an implicit reference to solitude. It is therefore a novel about love and loneliness, as well as an experimental enquiry of how the use of different languages can alter the mind, discourse, and the story itself. In addition - I will write a monthly column for one of the most influential daily newspapers in Slovakia N, which stands for Nezavislé (Independent) Newspaper. Usually the columns are connected with the places I travel to, and the experiences from my journeys, and meetings with inspirational people.


The Q21 Writer-in-Residence program in Vienna has allowed me to fully focus on my work. During the spring 2020 I have changed the idea of my work in progress and decided to rewrite the supposed novel into a collection of short stories.
I have been inspired by reading and re-reading writers who had a strong impact on my life and writing like Raymond Carver, Lucia Berlin or Alena Wagnerova.
Coming back to reading short stories made me realize that I myself (because of the pressure of times which just accept novels (as the commodity) and ostracize short stories) started to avoid possibly writing them.
Alena Wagnerova in her book "Cestou životem" which is a very simple title (something like On life journey) wrote in an afterword that it is precisely the form of a short story which allows prose writers to get closest to poetry. And I think for her and for me too, this is a decisive factor.
So I spent two months in Vienna working on my collection of short stories. The title of the book is Vandala. After I spoke to editor Jessica Beer from Residenz Verlag in August, she suggested that I send the almost finished work to my German translator Andrea Koch Reynolds who works on translating an excerpt from the manuscript and will also write a review to give the publisher a broader idea of the whole book.
My work on Vandala will be finished in the end of spring and I plan to publish it in Slovakia in June 2021.
To spend two months in Vienna and specially in a space of MuseumQuartier was for me as a writer very pleasant. Being so close to museums and art is inspiring and comforting for the spirit as well as meetings and discussions with young contemporary artists like Natalia Papaeva and Petra Mrša.

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