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Books in vending machines and God’s Busted Knee

Books in vending machines and God’s Busted Knee

(This bulletin notice announced an author visit. Published February 2016. To see the published version, click on the link and scroll down to the third story.)

Even though you don’t know him, you may already feel a type of familiarity with author Marc Degens: he writes with a self-deprecating humour common in Canada, and he would also fit right in with our local startup culture.

An accomplished writer, Degens has published four novels, numerous other books, and had regular columns in the Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung (The New York Times of the German-speaking world).

In 1995, Degens co-founded SuKuLTuR Verlag (SuKuLTuR Publishing), which focuses primarily on contemporary literature. In 2003, he and his partners came up with a new idea: selling chapbooks via vending machines placed at light rail transit stations throughout Berlin. The books had only 12 to 24 pages, and prices started at 1 Euro. In 2004, they expanded to other cities in Germany, including Hamburg and Dortmund. By fall of last year, they had sold over 100,000 books via vending machines alone.

Degens will be reading from several works on Tuesday, February 23 at 4:00 p.m. in EV3-3406: God’s Busted Knee, The SuKuLTuR Years, and Dorsten. He’ll read in both English and German, with English translations projected for German texts. A discussion in English will follow. Knowledge of German isn’t necessary.

This event is organized by the Waterloo Centre for German Studies and the Department of Germanic & Slavic Studies.

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