Photo: Portrait by Ralf Steinberger, 2014.
Sharon Dodua Otoo is a novelist and a political activist. She writes prose, essays and is editor of the English-language book series “Witnessed” (edition assemblage). Her first novellas “the things i am thinking while smiling politely” and “Synchronicity” were published in 2012 and 2015 respectively by edition assemblage and most recently republished in German translation by S. Fischer Verlag in 2017.
Otoo won the Ingeborg Bachmann Prize in 2016 with the text “Herr Gröttrup setzt sich hin.” It was subsequently translated twice into English by Katy Derbyshire, Judith Menzl and Patrick Ploschnitzki and published in 2020 in a bilingual edition by STILL Magazine. Otoo gave the inaugural speech at the 2020 Festival of German Language Literature which was published by Verlag Heyn in the same year. Both texts (the short story and the speech) were republished in 2022 by S. Fischer Verlag.
Otoo’s first novel, “Adas Raum”, is written in German and was published in 2021 by S. Fischer Verlag. It is due to appear in English translation in Spring 2023. “Gesammeltes Schweigen” was published in 2022 by Edition Zweifel and is a joint German-language publication with Heinrich Böll.
Otoo is politically active with the registered associations Initiative Black People in Germany, Phoenix and is associated with the Black queer feminist organisation ADEFRA. In 2022 she curated the Black German Language Literature Festival “Resonances” in cooperation with the Ruhrfestspiele Recklinghausen.
She has four children and lives in Berlin.
2016, Ingeborg Bachmann Prize
2018, Scholarship of the German Literature Fund
2019, TAGEWERK Scholarship (Guntram and Irene Rinke Foundation)
2021, Visiting Fellow, Cambridge University
2022, Schroeder Writer-in-Residence, Cambridge University
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