On the joint initiative of the Cultural Foundation of the Free State of Thuringia, the Friends of the Gotha Research Library e. V., the Gotha Research Centre and the Literary Society of Thuringia e. V., writers were given the opportunity to research in the Gotha Research Library for the first time in 2021 with a scholarship.
The library scholarship gives authors of all literary genres (novel, poetry, drama, etc.) the opportunity to engage with the research library's holdings during the research phase of their literary projects.
This year’s recipient of the Gotha Library Scholarship is Yulia Marfutova. The author, who teaches in the USA, was born in Moscow in 1988. She studied German and history in Berlin and received her doctorate in Münster. Today she lives in Boston. Her debut novel “Der Himmel vor hundert Jahren” (Heaven a Hundred Years Ago) was longlisted for the German Book Prize in 2021. This year she has already received the debut prize of the Buddenbrookhaus in Lübeck and is eligible to receive the Friedrich Hölderlin Prize of the city of Bad Homburg. For her current novel, Yulia Marfutova would like to work at the Research Library primarily with the holdings of the emigrant letter collection and draw inspiration from correspondence of European emigrants to North America from the time around 1900. The scholarship holder has planned her stay for August of 2022. During this time, a reading with the author will be scheduled.
The first scholarship holder in 2021 was the Berlin-based writer Rainer Merkel, whose high literary quality convinced the jury. The multi-award-winning author has already published several novels. At the research library, he worked on his current novel project with the holdings of the emigrant letter collection and on the history of Protestantism. Due to other outstanding applications, Xenia Helms (Berlin), Ralph Grüneberger (Leipzig) and Sebastian Stuertz (Hamburg) were also exceptionally invited to Gotha for a one-week stay each in 2021.