Der neue Bereich unseres Portals macht es sich zum Anliegen, die internationalen Literaturszenen Berlins zu kartographieren, die handelnden Personen und ihre Schauplätze sichtbar und zugänglich zu machen. 
Die Entstehung der Rubrik wurde durch eine Förderung des Hauptstadtkulturfonds ermöglicht. 

Priya Basil


© Tatyana Kronbichler


Born: 27.3.1977
Birthplace: London
Country of birth: Great Brtian
Lives in: Berlin, Mitte

Language: English
Working language: English


Priya Basil is a british writer. She grew up in Kenia, studied in Great Britain and today lives in Germany. She is writing for Lettre International, Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung, Neue Zürcher Zeitung, Die Zeit, Tagesspiegel, TAZ and The Guardian. Priya Basil is a co-founder of Authors for Peace and one of the initiators of the call for „Die Demokratie verteidigen im digitalen Zeitalter“ – a global campaign against mass surveillance.For her debut, Priya Basil was nominated for Commonwealth Writers’ Prize, the Dylan Thomas Prize and the IMPAC Dublin Literary Award and got ranked second at the competition Book to Talk About 2008 at UNESCOS World Book Day. The network Bücherfrauen/Women in Publishing listet her as a contender for the Peace Prize of the German Book Trade in 2013, 2014 and 2015. In 2015, Priya received a work scholarship from the Senate of Berlin.

6 Questions

What brought you to Berlin? Love? World politics? Or was it a coincidence?

All of these. I was pulled to Berlin by the tug of the heart. Except, of course, it’s never just love. The right to move, and stay, depends on so much else.

What do you love about Berlin?

The lakes in and around the city. The sense of an agora. Many different possibilities to think, discuss and act with others.

What do you miss in Berlin?

My family

What is your favorite spot in Berlin?

My Baugemeinschaft. A little village in the middle of the city.

Would you say you are a different person in Berlin? A different translator? And if yes, in what way?

I’m not sure that I’m a different person in Berlin, but I am a different person in German: hesitant, ineloquent and often unintentionally rude. I miss the ambiguous English “you”, and end up addressing strangers with a casual “Du”.

Which existing literary work do you wish you had written?

Luckily, there are more than I can list. Every book that has surprised me, tripped me up, transported or stranded me somewhere unexpected - and then stayed with me long after I set it down is a book I’d love to have written.


2015 work scholarship from the Senate of Berlin