Peter Wortsman

Peter Wortsman was a Fulbright Fellow in 1973, a Thomas J. Watson Foundation Fellow in 1974, and a Holtzbrinck Fellow at the American Academy in Berlin in 2010. His writing has been honored with the 1985 Beard’s Fund Short Story Award, the 2008 Gertje Potash-Suhr Prosapreis of the Society for Contemporary American Literature in German, and the 2012 Gold Grand Prize for Best Travel Story of the Year in the Solas Awards Competition. His travel reflections were selected five years in a row, 2008-2012, and again in 2016, for inclusion in The Best Travel Writing. He is the author of a novel, Cold Earth Wanderers (Pelekinesis, 2014), INDIEFAB Book of the Year Awards Finalist in Fantasy/Science Fiction; two books of short fiction, A Modern Way to Die (Fromm Publishing International, 1991, Pelekinesis, 2019) and Footprints in Wet Cement (Pelekinesis, 2017); two plays, The Tattooed Man Tells All (2000) and Burning Words (2006), both produced in the U.S. and Germany; an Independent Publishers Book Award (IPPY)-winning travel memoir Ghost Dance in Berlin: A Rhapsody in Gray (Travelers’ Tales, 2013); a book of doctors’ profiles The Caring Heirs of Doctor Samuel Bard (Columbia University Press, 2019); and a book of personal essays, Epiphany of a Middle-Aged Pilgrim (Pelekinesis, 2021). Wortsman’s numerous translations from the German include Telegrams of the Soul: Selected Prose of Peter Altenberg, Travel Pictures by Heinrich Heine, Posthumous Papers of a Living Author, by Robert Musil, Peter Schelmiel, The Man Who Sold His Shadow. by Adelbert von Chamisso, Selected Prose of Heinrich von Kleist, and Konundrum: Selected Prose of Franz Kafka, many of which are published by Archipelago Books. He edited and translated an anthology, Tales of the German Imagination: From the Brothers Grimm to Ingeborg Bachmann (Penguin Classics, 2013). He worked for many years as a medical and travel journalist.

Read an excerpt of Wortsman's bilingual German-English book of stories Stimme und Atem/Out of Breath, Out of Mind on The Yale Review.

Discover Wortsman's forthcoming collection Stimme und Atem/Out of Breath, Out of Mind from PalmArtPress.

Read Wortsman's essay on the German Humanist Johannes Reuchlin in Die Zeit.

Read Wortsman's new ebook Urban Nomad—Paris

Read Wortsman's award-winning travel essay, "Protected."

Watch Wortsman read from 'Telegrams of the Soul.'

Read Wortsman's new book Cold Earth Wanderers.

Read Wortsman's travel op-ed in the New York Times.

Listen to an interview with Peter Wortsman here.

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