Betrachtungen einer Barbarin -

Betrachtungen einer Barbarin

Observations of a Barbarian

Asal Dardan

© Sarah Berger

About the book

The child of Iranian parents, Asal Dardan grew up in Germany and was shaped by the experience of exile. This book documents her quest to bridge the eternal opposition between “us” and “others”.

Jury evaluation

The cultural scientist Asal Dardan, who was born in Tehran and grew up in Germany, writes about being human: about basic experiences such as migration, flight, travel and foreignness. Dardan writes about supposedly ancient family traditions that one actually has to learn anew, and of backward-looking labels that simply don’t fit, of the languages of our parents that slip away and new families that arise. Seemingly effortlessly, her elegant essay ranges from country to country and generation to generation, always stylistically confident, both reflecting on and playing with language. In this way, the author also presents a wonderful alternative to rigid discourses on identity that tie people down instead of setting them free.

Asal Dardan

Asal Dardan was born in Tehran in 1978 and, after her parents fled Iran, grew up in Cologne, Bonn and Aberdeen. She studied cultural studies in Hildesheim and Middle Eastern studies in Lund. As a freelance writer, she writes for Zeit Online, Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung and Berliner Zeitung, among others. She also works as a freelance editor and writer for the online magazine was wäre wenn. She was awarded the Caroline-Schlegel-Preis, a literary award for essay writing, for her text “Neue Jahre”.


[Translate to Englisch:] Stiftung Buchkultur und Leseförderung


[Translate to Englisch:] Deutsche Bank Stiftung

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