Ruth Kluger

Picture of Ruth Kluger
Professor Emeritus, German
School of Humanities
PH.D., University of California, Berkeley
Phone: (949) 824-6406
Fax: (949) 824-6416
University of California, Irvine
236 Humanities Instructional Building
Mail Code: 3150
Irvine, CA 92697
Research Interests
Kleist, nineteenth-century literature, Stifter, Holocaust literature
Academic Distinctions

• Rauriser Literature Prize (1993)
• Grimmelshausen Prize (1993)
• Niedersachsen State Prize (1993)
• Johann-Jacob-Christoph-von Grimmelshausen-Preis (1993)
• Author of the Year, 1994 – Magazin Buchkultur
• Marie-Luise-Kaschnitz-Preis (1994)
• Marie-Luise-Kaschnitz-Preis (1995)
• Anerkennungspreis zum Andreas-Gryphius-Preis (1996)
• Heinrich-Heine-Medaille (1997)
• Staatspreis für Literaturkritik (Austrian National Prize for Literary Criticism) (1997)
• Prix de la Shoah (1998)
• Thomas-Mann-Preis (1999)
• Preis der Frankfurter Anthologie (1999)
• Prix Mémoire de la Shoah
• Thomas Mann Prize of the City of Lübeck (1999)
• Prize of the Frankfurt Anthology (1999)
• Bruno Kreisky Prize (2002)
• Goethe-Medaille (2005)
• Roswitha Prize (2006)
• Käthe Leichter Prize (2006)
• Lessing Prize of the State of Saxony (2007)


• Elected to Deutsche Akademie für Sprache und Dichtung (only 7 Americans among 150 members) (1994)
• Elected to German PEN Club
• 2001-02 Constantine Panunzio Distinguished Emeriti Award
• Honorary doctorate, Georg-August-Universität Göttingen (2003)
• Goethe Medaille des Goethe Instituts (2005)
• Bundesverdienstkreuz erster Klasse (2008)
(German Order of Merit, first class/Officer's cross, a state
decoration of the Federal Republic of Germany)
• Hermann Cohen Medal (Given for achievements in field of Jewish cultural philosophy) (2008)


• “Literarisches Quartett,” two appearances as guest critic, 1990s
• “Literary Panel Discussion,” Schweizer Fernsehen Aug. 93, Nov. 94
• “Talk im Turm” Political Panel Discussion, SAT 1, 1994


“Reise ins Leben”– Directed by Thomas Mitscherlich; 1996 – a documentary film about four individuals and their personal memories of the immediate post war period; premiered at the Berlinale and released on multiple TV stations


• Exile poetry reading in the Austrian Parliament (2008)
• Interview by Der Spiegel for the feature “Spiegelgespräch” (2008)


Weiter leben. Eine Jugend. Göttingen: Wallstein Verlag, 1992; paperback edition by DTV (the most distinguished paperback publisher in Germany), 1994

Weiter leben has been translated into Dutch, French, Italian, Spanish, Czech and Japanese. Excerpts from it have been anthologized and adapted pedagogically for the German Gymnasium (secondary school) curriculum. The book received over 100 reviews and became a German best seller. Later it was adapted for theater (“Theaterstück für zwei Personen”); the work premiered in Vienna in 2001.

Public Readings: over 50 as author of weiter leben
Theater Readings: Kammerspiel, München, 1992; Hamburger Theater, 1993
TV Interview: TV Frankfurt, 1993
Radio Interviews: Multiple appearances on major stations such as Radio Bremen, Südwestfunk, and Bayrische Rundfunk, and several additional local German radio

• Buchaktion (2008)

(Weiter leben chosen by the city of Vienna for its "einestadteinbuch" ["onecityonebook"]—city selects one book annually for a licensed reprinting of 100,000 copies to be distributed free followed by a gala reception hosted by the mayor of Vienna)

Still Alive: A Holocaust Girlhood Remembered. New York: The Feminist Press, 2001.

Still Alive is not simply a translation of weiter leben, but a revision for an audience in another place and another time: American readers ten years later. As Ruth Kluger writes towards the end of the book, “What you have been reading is neither a translation nor a new book: it’s another version, a parallel book, if you will, for my children and my American students….I have written this book twice” (p. 210).

Named one of the year’s 10 best books by the Washington Post, 2001
Jonathan Yardley, The Washington Post: “What an amazing book it is.”
Jon Wiener, The Los Angeles Times: “a book of breathtaking honesty and extraordinary insight”

Radio Interviews: Fresh Air (National Public Radio), KPFK (Los Angeles) 2001
TV Interview: KOCE (Public Television, Orange County) 2002

Recent Scholarly Works:

Katastrophen: Über deutsche Literatur. Wallstein, 1994.

Frauen lesen anders. DTV, 1996.

Gelesene Wirklichkeit: Fakten und Fiktionen in der Literatur Wallstein, 2006

Gemalte Fensterscheiben: Ueber Lyrik. Wallstein, 2007

unterwegs verloren. Erinnerungen. Zsolnay Verlag, 2008.
(selected for serialization in the FAZ [Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung])


• Salomon Hermann Mosenthal: Erzählungen aus dem jüdischen Familienleben. Mit einem Nachwort, herausgegeben von Ruth Klüger. Göttingen, 2001.
(Mosenthal: Stories of Jewish Family Life. Afterword by Ruth Kluger. Ed. By Ruth Kluger)

Invited Lectures and Lecture Series published as pamphlets:

• Lesen Frauen anders? Heidelberger Universitätsreden, 6. Heidelberg: C. F. Müller Juristischer Verlag, 1994
(Do Women read differently? Heidelberg University Lecture #6)
• Von hoher und niedriger Literatur. Bonner Poetik-Vorlesung, 1. Göttingen: Wallstein. 1996
(About Taste, High-brow and Low-brow Literature. Bonn Lectures on Poetics,
#1) This is a week-long lecture series.
• Knigges Umgang mit Menschen. Eine Vorlesung. Wallstein 1996
(Knigge’s Social Interactions [Getting Along with People]. A Lecture.)
• Dichter und Historiker: Fakten und Fiktionen. Wiener Vorlesung, 1999, publ. 2000
(Poets and Historians: Facts and Fictions. Viennese Lecture)
• Schnitzlers Damen: Weiber, Mädel, Frauen. Wiener Vorlesung, 2000; publ. 2001
(Schnitzler’s Ladies: Females, Sweet Young Girls, and Women. Vienna
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