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Olja Alvir


First Language(s): Serbocroatian, German
Second Language(s): English, French, Russian


Olja Alvir is an author and translator based in Vienna and elsewhere. Her German-language debut novel is called Kein Meer. She also writes personal and political essays as well as short prose, all of which can be found in various publications. Recently, she started writing poetry in German, English and Serbocroatian; the sea, identity, and crossing the borders between languages are some of her main themes.


What was your favorite book as a child?

When I was a child, every book I read was my favorite book. I made no distinctions. The dictionary and encyclopaedia were as good as Grimm’s Fairy Tales or Sailor Moon mangas to me. Sophie’s World by Jostein Gaarder, however, was probably the first one that had a major and lasting impact.

Do you remember the original reason or motivation why you started writing creatively?

I couldn’t help myself!

What was the most adventurous or thrilling thing you ever did/experienced?


Do you listen to music while reading or writing?

No. I’m trying to listen to the words.


identity is a territory
Issue Spring '22

Supported by:

Land Steiermark: Kultur, Europa, Außenbeziehungen
U.S. Embassy Vienna
Stadt Graz