Steve Sem-Sandberg and Saskia Vogel

Wednesday, September 14th, 3:00 pm Central

Join us as we celebrate the internationally acclaimed new novel W. with a special virtual event featuring Swedish author Steve Sem-Sandberg in discussion with the book’s English-language translator, Saskia Vogel. 

W. (The Overlook Press) is a literary reimagining of one of modern literature’s touchstone texts, the play Woyzeck. Considered the first modern drama, Woyzeck tells the story of a poor soldier who kills the woman he loves. In 1836 this true story inspired Georg Büchner to write the play, unfinished at his death at just twenty-three years old.

W. grippingly recounts the lovers’ relationship, the murder trial, and the soldier’s execution. The novel unfolds as W. struggles to recount the events of his life, grasping at understanding his feelings and circumstances. Sem-Sandberg searched court archives to bring new light to this story, and he masterfully sustains a rich period atmosphere through poetic and controlled prose, brilliantly translated into English by Saskia Vogel.

Against a landscape devastated by inhumanity and greed—yet somehow managing to sustain hope, too—W. tells a ruthless, moving, and utterly relevant story as one human desperately fights to make something of the life given to him. 

Free to attend, registration required. We hope to “see” you there!

A copy of the book can be purchased in advance using the button below!  Books are provided by Magers & Quinn Booksellers in Minneapolis; purchasing W. here helps support them AND Rain Taxi’s Twin Cities Book Festival—thank you!

Pick Up W.

PRICE: $29

BOOK PURCHASE with Local Pickup at Magers & Quinn, Minneapolis, MN (price includes sales tax)

Get W. shipped to you

PRICE: $32

BOOK PURCHASE plus $4 shipping to your location, U.S. shipping only, (price includes sales tax)


About the Authors

Steve Sem-Sandberg‘s novels include The Emperor of Lies, winner of the August Prize;The Chosen Ones, winner of France’s Prix Médicis étranger; and W., which was awarded the Eyvind Johnson Prize. His books have been bestsellers around the world and have been translated into thirty languages. In 2020 he was elected to the Swedish Academy, the body that chooses the Nobel Prize for Literature.


Saskia Vogel is an author and translator from Los Angeles, currently living in Berlin. She was a 2021 PEN Translation Prize finalist and Princeton University’s Fall 2022 Translator in Residence. Her debut novel, Permission, was published in five languages, and she was awarded the 2021 Berlin Senate Grant for Non-German language Literature for her writing.