Anglistik und Amerikanistik

Reading, Discussion & Book Signing: Joshua Cohen


October 21, 2014 - 6-8 pm University of Würzburg, ZHSG Z6, Room 1.012, Am Hubland

Photo: © Adam Gong

"'Everyone knows what attention is,' is a good first line. It arrests your attention, then lets it loose." (Joshua Cohen, Attention! A [Short] History, 2013)

Joshua Cohen was born in New Jersey, studied at the Manhattan School of Music, and lives in New York City. He is currently a guest of the American Academy in Berlin.

To date, Joshua Cohen has published three novels, Cadenza for the Schneidermann Violin Concerto (2007), A Heaven of Others (2008), and Witz (2010); four collections of stories, The Quorum (2005), Aleph-Bet: An Alphabet for the Perplexed (2007), Bridge & Tunnel (& Tunnel & Bridge) (2010), and Four New Messages (2012); and a book of nonfiction, Attention! A (Short) History (2013). Numerous further essays and reviews have appeared in Harper's, The New York Times, The New York Times Book Review, London Review of Books, and other prestigious newspapers and magazines. Joshua Cohen is the recipient of the Pushcart Prize (2012) and of the Matanel Prize in Jewish Literature (2013).

Joshua Cohen's latest collection of short fiction, Four New Messages (2012) has recently been published in German as Vier neue Nachrichten (2014) by Schöffling & Co., Frankfurt. The collection consists of a quartet of audacious fictions that capture the pathos and absurdity of the internet age. In "Emission", a drug dealer is exposed in a blog and his futile attempts to erase the online information climax in tragedy. In "McDonald's", a frustrated employee tries to write a story, but cannot bring himself to write down a particular word. In "The College Borough", a professor of literature advises his students to rebuild New York City in the Midwest instead of doing writing exercises. In "Sent", an aspiring journalist visits an Eastern European village inhabited by all the women who have starred in all the porn he has ever enjoyed online. What happens when reality is conquered by the virtual world?

Joshua Cohen will read from Four New Messages, answer questions, and sign books. His books are available from Schöningh Campusbuchhandlung am Hubland (Mensa, Am Hubland) and Schöningh Unibuchhandlung an der alten Universität (Franziskanerplatz 4).

For further information see:

Organizer: American Studies, University of Würzburg

Contact: PD Dr. Ina Bergmann,

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