Ilija Trojanow (Iliya Troyanov) was born in Sofia, Bulgaria in 1965. In 1971 his family fled through Yugoslavia and Italy to Germany, where they gained political asylum. A year later, the family moved to Kenya and lived in Nairobi from 1972 to 1984, interrupted by a three-year period in Germany. Trojanow studied law and ethnology in Munich. In 1989, he founded the Marino Publishing House, which focuses on African literature. In 1998, he moved to Bombay and in 2003 to Cape Town. Since 2008 he has been based in Vienna. Trojanow has published twenty books in different genres (novel, travelogue, reportage, political essay), six of which have been translated into English, including his first novel Die Welt ist groß und Rettung lauert überall (It’s A Big World and Salvation Lurks Everywhere), Doppelte Spur: Roman, EisTau, Der entfesselte Globus: Reportagen, Die Versuchungen der Fremde: Unterwegs in Arabien, Indien und Afrika, and Confluences: Forgotten Histories from East and West (co-author Ranjit Hoskote). His most successful novel Der Weltensammler (The Collector of Worlds) has been translated into 30 languages. He has received numerous literary awards and has taught as a visiting professor at the Freie Universität Berlin and the Deutsches Literaturinstitut in Leipzig, at Washington University in St. Louis, the Film Academy in Vienna, New York University and Dartmouth College, USA.
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