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Graphic Lit

from the February 2018 issue

The I-Formula

Click image below to enlarge

From Der Sommer ihres Lebens. Published 2017 by Reprodukt. By arrangement with the publisher. Translation © 2018 by Edna McCown. All rights reserved.


Thomas von Steinaecker

Author, journalist, and film director Thomas von Steinaecker was born in Traunstein, Germany, in 1977. His highly acclaimed novels include Wallner beginnt zu Fliegen (2007) and Die Verteidigung des Paradieses (2016), both of which were nominated for the German Book Prize.

The Summer of Her Life was created for Hundertvierzehn, the lit-blog of S. Fischer Verlag, and marks the first collaboration between Thomas von Steinaecker and comics artist Barbara Yelin. A reworked version of the story was published in book form by Reprodukt in the fall of 2017.

Barbara Yelin

Barbara Yelin, born in Munich in 1977, studied illustration at the Hamburg University of Applied Sciences. She became well known as a comics artist in France with the publication of Le visiteur and Le retard, both volumes published by Actes Sud – l’An 2. In German, her work has appeared in a number of issues of Spring, the annual anthology published by the eponymous women artists’ collective, with a short story also appearing in the anthology Pomme d’amour, published by Die Biblyothek. Gift [Poison], the depiction of a criminal case based on historical events, with a scenario by Peer Meter, was Yelin’s first graphic novel, published with Reprodukt Verlag in 2010. 

In 2014 Barbara Yelin published the graphic novel Irmina, recipient of a number of awards. Told in densely atmospheric images, Irmina is based on the true story of a life of discordant changes, with a focus on those who collaborated with, or turned a blind eye to, National Socialism. In the fall of 2016, in partnership with the Goethe-Institut in Israel, Yelin created Vor allem eins: Dir selbst sei treu–die Schauspielerin Channa Maron [This above all: to thine own self be true–the actress Channa Maron]. Working together with author Thomas von Steinaecker, Yelin published the serial web comic The Summer of Her Life in Hundertvierzehn, the lit-blog of S. Fischer Verlag. It was published in reworked book form by Reprodukt Verlag in fall 2017.

Yelin has drawn comic strips for the German newspapers, the Frankfurter Rundschau (Rieke’s Notizen [Rieke’s notes]) and the Tagesspiegel, led international workshops, and served as reporter-illustrator in Cairo, Bali, New Delhi, Tel Aviv, and Pristina. In 2015 she was awarded the Bavarian Prize for Literature, and in 2016, the renowned Max and Moritz Award for Best German-Language Comic Artist. She lives and works in Munich.

Translated from German by Edna McCown

Edna McCown translates works of fiction and nonfiction from the German, including Aimee & Jaguar by Erica Fischer and Leni Riefenstahl: A Life by Jürgen Trimborn. Among the authors she has translated are Gert Hofmann, Thomas Hürlimann, Lilian Faschinger, Alfred Döblin, and Saša Stanišić. She holds a PhD in German literature and has served on the juries of the Helen and Kurt Wolff Translator’s Prize and the PEN Translation Prize. In 2004 she was a founding member of the annual New Literature from Europe Festival, initiated by the Goethe-Institut.

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