Yael Inokai


Yael Inokai

The daughter of a German mother and a Hungarian father, Yael Inokai was born in Basel in 1989 and now lives in Berlin. Her debut novel Storchenbiss (Stork Bites) was published in 2012. After studying philosophy in Basel and Vienna, she began studies in scriptwriting at the German Film and Television Academy in Berlin. She works as a tour guide, a freelance author, and has written for various literary journals as well as for ZEIT ONLINE. In 2018, she received a Swiss Literature Prize for her second novel Mahlstrom (Maelstrom). “Mahlstrom combines precision with poetry,” Martin Läubli writes in the NZZ am Sonntag about the traumatic experiences of young people within the boundaries of a small village.

Are you happy with me? How would it feel to be perfect? In her most recent novel Ein simpler Eingriff (A Simple Procedure), Yael Inokai asks ethical and moral questions about the use and potential of medical procedures. And no—this novel is not about cosmetic surgery. Ein simpler Eingriff tells the story of the nurse Meret, who assists brain surgeries. Apparently, this procedure can improve the lives of the psychologically eccentric. But Meret gradually begins to have her doubts. This plot alludes to a dark chapter in the history of psychiatry. Still, the novel also can be read as a nuanced critique of our performance driven society. This novel was awarded the Anna Seghers Prize and was nominated for the 2022 German Book Prize.

Ein simpler Eingriff. Roman. Hanser Berlin 2022
Mahlstrom. Roman. Rotpunktverlag 2017
Storchenbiss. Roman. Rotpunktverlag 2012


28th Leukerbad International Literary Festival: 6.21.–23.2024