Janne Teller is a critically acclaimed & bestselling Danish novelist of Austrian-German family background. Her work circles around existential and ethical questions of life and civilization, and often sparks controversial debate.
Her novels include Odin’s Island (1999), a contemporary Nordic saga about religious and political fanaticism; Europa, All That You Lack (2004), about European identity and the binds and mechanisms of history in love and war, set in the 1990’s Balkan genocide; and Come (2008), about ethics in art and modern competition driven life. Her existential young adult/crossover novel, Nothing (2000), after initially being banned, has become a prize-winning international bestseller, sold in more than 1.5 million copies worldwide. Her much-awarded passport book about life as a refugee, she re-adapts to each country in which it is published (to date 16 versions with more on their way). Other books include the short story collection Everything (2013), and the novella African Roads (2013), which takes its outset at Karen Blixen’s African farm. Most recently, Janne Teller has published the essay collection Walking Naked (2018), focusing on the essential codes inherent in art, to making a modern multi-cultural world function.
Janne Teller has received numerous literary grants and awards including the American Michael L. Printz Honor Award for Literary Excellence (2011), the Danish Drassow Prize (2014) for literary work towards peace and human understanding, and the French Prix Libbylit for best children/young adult book in the French-speaking world (2008). Her books are staged in theatres in many countries, two of them also transformed into opera (London Royal Opera and Stuttgart Opera, respectively). Her literature is translated into more than 30 languages.
Janne Teller often participates in the public debate, particularly concerning multiculture, democracy and human rights in Europe and around the world, and publishes political essays in international newspapers and magazines, such as Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung, PEN Atlas and Lettre Internationale. She was one of the initiators of the 2013 Writers Against Mass Surveillance action, is one of the founders of the Frankfurt Zwischen Zeilen peace readings, and was the initiator of the highly successful June 2019 women writers’ ‘It’s Time’-campaign for gender balance in EU leadership positions. From 2014-19, she sat in the jury of the prestigious German Book Peace Prize. In 2021, she was awarded the high civil honor of Tamgha-i-Pakistan by the Pakistani President for her work for Human Rights in Jammu&Kashmir.
Educated as a macro-economist, before becoming a full-time writer, Janne Teller worked for the United Nations with humanitarian assistance and conflict resolution and has lived and worked in many countries around the world, including Mozambique, Tanzania, Zimbabwe and Bangladesh. After residing for years in New York, Paris and Berlin, she now lives in London.
In her spare time Janne Teller is an active horse rider, recently also competing in endurance racing, in 2022 becoming the 60 km East England Champion with her OX Arabian mare Magnums Javannah.
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