Brief version

Author and Journalist Jörn Jacob Rohwer is widely known for his biographical conversations with luminaries from literature, music, science, society and the arts. Published in books, anthologies, newspapers and magazines his works form an exception as they synthesize journalism and literature.

Rohwer holds an M.A. from London University, a diploma from Bremen University and was trained as a journalist in Hamburg and Berlin. A scholar of DAAD (UCL, 1993/94), RIAS (Duke University, 2002) and Villa Aurora (Los Angeles, 2006), he also received numerous foundation grants.

In 2005 Rohwer’s book of conversations with iconic artists and intellectuals, “Hinter dem Ruhm”, was published by Steidl, followed by Rohwer’s conversation-based biography “Veruschka” (DuMont, 2011) and, in 2014, by “Die Seismografie des Fragens”, an extensive, bibliophile collection of Rohwer’s biographical conversations conducted between 1995 and 2010 (published by Salis, Zurich). Like the previous two books it was highly acclaimed and ranked among the top national non-fiction publications. Meanwhile the book is being translated into English.

Rohwer has lectured and read in Germany, Switzerland and the USA; he has tought at various media schools, among them at the Academy of Arts, Berlin. His works (essays, portrays, conversations) have been published extensively, translated into several languages and in parts been archived by The Huntington Library. In September 2015 Jörn Jacob Rohwer was awarded with the German Biography Price. He is currently working on a biographical project commissioned by California Institute of the Arts, Los Angeles.

For German version please click here.

Detailed version

Author and journalist Jörn Jacob Rohwer established a name for his analytical at-length conversations with iconic artists and intellectuals, notably published in newspapers or magazines such as Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung, Neue Zürcher Zeitung, Weltwoche, Tagesanzeiger, Frankfurter Rundschau, Berliner Zeitung, Die Zeit. Among many others Rohwer closely conversed with Nobel laureates Imre Kertész and Dame Doris Lessing, with Academy Award winners Maximilian Schell and Terry Sanders, with controversial artist Leni Riefenstahl, with Arthur Miller, David Hockney, Susan Sontag, Elliott Carter, Paloma Picasso and – Guy Baron de Rothschild, who granted Rohwer the only biographical interview ever in his lifetime.

Rohwers works (essays, portrays, conversations) have been published extensively, among others with S.Fischer Verlag (Frankfurt am Main), Feltrinelli Editore (Milan), Hachette (Paris), Wagenbach Verlag, Friedrich Verlag (both Berlin), Pearson-Longman (London/ New York) and archived by the Huntington Library, San Marino, California. Designated as a “master of the interview”, Rohwer released the book “Behind Fame” (Hinter dem Ruhm. Steidl Publishing, 2005) by which, according to the media, he “succeeded in turning a journalistic genre into literature”. In 2011 Rohwer completed his conversation-based biography of notable artist Vera Countess Lehndorff (aka “Veruschka”). It was published by DuMont, Cologne, released at the Frankfurt Book Fair, presented at the Berlin Academy of Arts and turned into a bestseller.

Rohwer has been a scholar of DAAD, a RIAS fellow at Duke University (2002) and an artist-in-residence at Villa Aurora, Los Angeles (2004 / 2006). Moreover his work has been fostered by Stiftung Preußische Seehandlung (Berlin), Rusch-Stiftung (Hamburg), The Osher Foundation (San Francisco), the Shugrue Cultural Development Fund (New York) and the Ralph Emanuel Trust (London). Before he turned to freelance writing, Rohwer graduated from London University (UCL) and was trained as a journalist in the editorial offices of ZDF, SFB and Die Zeit where – fostered by Marion Countess Dönhoff – he also worked as a biographical researcher alongside Lord Ralf Dahrendorf. He has lectured in Europe and the United States (NYU, CUNY, Free Academy of Arts in Hamburg et al.), tought a various media institutions and academies and – as adjunct professor – at the Berlin University of Arts. His latest work completed is an extensive, bibliophile collection of biographical conversatons conducted between 1995 and 2010, containing plenty of previously unpublished material, including many photographs and facsimile. The book was released by Salis (Zurich), premiered at the Leipzig Book Fair in Spring 2014 and (according the daily “Süddeutsche Zeitung”) was soon after was ranked among the top ten German non-fiction publications. Meanwhile it is being translated into English. Click here or, here and here for more information, please. In September 2015 Jörn Jacob Rohwer was awarded with the German Biography Price (for laudation manuscript please click here). He is currently working on a biographical project commissioned by California Institute of the Arts, in Los Angeles.

For German version please click here.

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