German Authors and Genres

Hannah Dübgen; © Susanne Schleyer/

Hannah Dübgen – A Contemporary Writer With a Global Perspective

Precise observation and a rhythmically meticulous language are characteristics of Hannah Dübgen’s prose. This multifaceted writer has also written successful librettos and theatre plays.More ...
Wolfgang Herrndorf died at the age of 48; © Frankfurter Buchmesse

Wolfgang Herrndorf – the Internet as a way of life

Writing need not lead to loneliness, and a text need not be a book to be great literature. That is the legacy of author Wolfgang Herrndorf, who took his life in 2013 following a long illness.More ...
Mirjam Pressler; © Karen Seggelke/Beltz & Gelberg

“Creating a world out of nothing” – Mirjam Pressler on the Diary of Anne Frank

All texts by Anne Frank are being published for the first time in one volume. Mirjam Pressler, Anne Frank expert and translator, explains what new insights this collected edition provides.More ...
Ann Cotten © Suhrkamp Verlag

US-born Viennese poet and short story writer Ann Cotten

Ann Cotten was born in the US and grew up in Vienna. In her own writings she mixes her two languages, English and German. Cotten is to be awarded the Chamisso Prize in 2014 for her lyric poetry and prose.More ...
Story-teller Martin Baltscheit; © Sebastian Hoppe

“Straight to the heart” – an interview with Martin Baltscheit

Martin Baltscheit writes, illustrates and reads stories for children. For his books he tries to find images that will stick in the mind and will appeal to every age of reader.More ...
Ralf Rothmann; © Heike Steinweg / Suhrkamp Verlag

When in writing the sparks fly – an interview with Ralf Rothmann

Ralf Rothmann’s literary work has received numerous awards. In an interview he tells how his texts originate in an inner necessity and sometimes even surprise him himself.More ...
Clemens Meyer; © Gaby Gerster

A gaze into the deepest recesses of society – the novelist Clemens Meyer

With stylistic daring and narrative exuberance Clemens Meyer holds up a mirror to the present.More ...
Alen Mešković | Photo: Isak Hoffmeyer/, 2011

Dr. No and Captain Micky – “Ukulele Jam” by Alen Mešković

A journey from Bosnia via Croatia and Denmark to Munich. Ukulele Jam is a very personal novel by young author Alen Mešković.More ...
Georg Büchner (1813–1837), drawing by August Hoffmann

The desire to change the world – Hermann Kurzke on Georg Büchner

Georg Büchner left behind a powerful oeuvre that fascinates people to this very day. The literary scholar Hermann Kurzke has written a biography that reinterprets the traditional image of Büchner.More ...
Cover von Frank Schätzings „Der Schwarm“; © S. Fischer Verlag

The Hero and the Weather: Literature and Climate Change

How do writers imagine something as invisible and intangible as climate change?More ...

Books are not a form of fetishism – An Interview with Judith Schalansky

Judith Schalansky not only writes books, she designs them too. In our interview she explains why texts need pictures and how to create stories the reader can take hold of.More ...
Herta Müller; © Paul Esser

Respected Outsider – the writer Herta Müller

Her themes are the abysmal aspects of state terror and dictatorship. Herta Müller transforms external events into internal worlds where readers have to find their own way.More ...
Jens Thiele: Jo im roten Kleid © Peter Hammer Verlag

“What a beautiful prince!” Gender diversity in children’s books

Even children's books thematize the relationship to the own body or same-sex love. But does such early exposure to these sensitive issues make sense?More ...
Marjana Gaponenko © Robert Bosch Stiftung/Yves Noir

Singing a song that ends in an endless sigh: an interview with Marjana Gaponenko

It sounds like a fairy tale: Marjana Gaponenko, a schoolgirl from the Ukraine, begins writing poetry in German. 16 years later, she wins the Chamisso Prize.More ...
Adelbert-von-Chamisso-awardees: above f.l.t.r.: Yoko Tawada, photo: Yves Noir; Emine Sevgi Özdamar, photo: Helga Kneidl; Libuše Moníková, photo: Renate von Mangoldt; below f.l.t.r.: Galsan Tschinag, photo: Rosemarie von Schnoy; Ilija Trojanow, photo: Yves Noir; Catalin Dorian Florescu, photo: Yvonne Böhler

Hardly Anybody Any Longer Says “Immigrant” – German literature by authors whose mother tongue is not German

It has become perfectly natural to see in Rafik Schami and Terézia Mora notable German-language authors.More ...
View into the exhibition „Poetry goes art & vice versa“ | Photo: © Bettina Brach

Concrete poetry on the international stage

Concrete poetry arose in four different locations at the same time. Franz Mon was one of its most significant proponents in Germany.More ...
Judith Hermann; © Cordula Giese

“Lots of Riddles” – Judith Hermann on the Fascination of Short Stories

Since her debut volume Summerhouse, later (Sommerhaus, später, 1998), Judith Hermann has been acclaimed as a master of the short story. In an interview she reveals how her short stories originate.More ...
Hans Pleschinski in Novosibirsk; photo: privat

“As a writer, one’s task is to recall what has been forgotten” – Hans Pleschinski in conversation

Hans Pleschinski is writer and translator. An open view of the contemporary social climate, serious and happy at the same time, shines through his novels.More ...
Detail of the cover of Christoph Bartmann's „Leben im Büro“ (Life in the Office), Hanser Verlag München 2012; © Hanser Verlag

And What Do You Do? The Comeback of the Employee Novel

Laboro ergo sum. Against the backdrop of the financial crash and burn-out confessions, the literature of the abyss has discovered the theme of the modern work world.More ...
Julia Franck, Photo: Mathias Bothor/photoselection

Julia Franck – The Private Becomes Literature

In the emotional story of her own family, Julia Franck finds the best material for her novels.More ...
Christoph Hein; © Jürgen Bauer / Suhrkamp Verlag

Chronicler of the Present – Christoph Hein

With the novel „Der fremde Freund“ began the career of one of the most important narrative writers of East Germany. Today Christoph Hein remains a keen observer of the fragile aspects of our present.More ...
Yeniche at Lake Laurez (Switzerland), 1928 (photo: public domain)

More than a Gypsy Tale – the literature of Sinti and Roma

Sad testimonies of exclusion and discrimination, but also hopeful prospects – revelations and discoveries in the works of German-speaking Roma authors.More ...
Silke Scheuermann; © Schöffling und Co/Harald Schröder

Writer and Cosmopolitan: Silke Scheuermann

In German literature, Silke Scheuermann has established herself as a poet and novelist who is equally at home in literature and in the world.More ...
Michael Stavarič; © Lukas Beck

Reading as a “never-ending journey into your own psyche” – The Chamisso Prize Winner Michael Stavarič

In 2012 Michael Stavarič was awarded the Adelbert von Chamisso Prize as an “outstanding figure in contemporary literary life”. An interview.More ...
Abbas Khider; © Jakob Steden

The German-Iraqi Author Abbas Khider – Troubadour of Confidence

In 2000 Abbas Khider, already a grown man, came to Germany without knowledge of the language. Today he stands in the front rank of German novelists.More ...
Christa Wolf; © Susanne Schleyer/Suhrkamp Verlag

Becoming a Subject – A Tribute to Christa Wolf

On December 1, 2011, the author Christa Wolf died at the age of 82. As hardly another writer of her generation, she represented the ruptures, contradictions and hopes of Germany.More ...
Gerhard Köpf; photo: Allitera Verlag

Dazzling, But Completely Out – The Writer Gerhard Köpf

There are writers in Germany who can hardly live from their work. Among them are outstanding authors, including some who, were hailed as the future of German literature. One of these is Gerhard Köpf.More ...
Eugen Ruge; © Tobias Bohm

Eugen Ruge – A Skilled Dramatist and Matured Novelist

Eugen Ruge has been writing for over twenty years, primarily as a dramatist. In October 2011 his debut novel surprised many by winning the German Book Prize.More ...
Sibylle Lewitscharoff; © Susanne Schleyer/Suhrkamp Verlag

Sibylle Lewitscharoff – A True, Witty and Meaning-Giving Power of Language

She is one of the most alert and original voices in German literature. Her novels pursue crucial questions of humanity with humor and profundity.More ...
Judith Schalansky and Peggy Mädler; © Susanne Schleyer/Andreas Rost

End of the Wenderoman – The GDR as a Space for Stories

There are novels that are so full of the world that it is unimportant where they take place: Peggy Mädler and Judith Schalansky represent a sober form of literature about the GDR.More ...
Local color; © Colourbox

The Boom of the Regional Crime Novel

The Germans have apparently tasted blood. Regionalist authors are racing with each other to write murders stories in which one thing is never lacking: local color!More ...
The writer and translator Kristof Magnusson; photo: Thomas Dashuber

“Iceland’s language lives from a strikingly simple beauty”: Kristof Magnusson in an interview

An interview with the writer and translator Kristof Magnusson about Iceland’s guest role at this year’s Frankfurt Book Fair.More ...
Cover of “Die Geschichte vom Fuchs, der den Verstand verlor“; © Bloomsbury

Reading about the Darker Side of Life. Difficult Themes in Books for Children and Young Adults

Are books capable of introducing young people to themes such as death and dying, dementia and disability in a sensitive manner?More ...
publications of roughbooks 2010; © roughbooks

“An ox chews phlox” – Young Authors Re-Discover Poetry

Poetry is alive and well in Germany! An active, well-networked scene is breaking new ground and setting standards.More ...
Big City Literature: A Journey through Germany in Eight Books | ©

Big City Literature: A Journey through Germany in Eight Books

Some people claim that Berlin is the only big city worth taking seriously in Germany. This judgement, however, is contradicted – to some extent – by German contemporary literature.More ...
Susanne Ledanff; © University of Canterbury

Germany’s Capital in Print: Susanne Ledanff on the Contemporary Berlin Novel

The fall of the Berlin Wall has also given the “Berlin novel” a new drive, means Susanne Ledanff. In an interview she says how the capital city is being reinvented in the literature of Germany.More ...
Terézia Mora; © Autorenarchiv Susanne Schleyer

Training Camp Translation: An Interview with Terézia Mora

Péter Esterházy’s first work “A Production Novel” is not light fare. For translating it into German, Terésia Mora received the 2011 Translator’s Prize of the North Rhine-Westphalian Foundation for Art.More ...
Mirjam Pressler; © Beltz und Gelberg/Karen Seggelke

“I do not give any thought to whether something might be a risk.” An Interview with Mirjam Pressler

In 2010, Mirjam Pressler received the German Children’s Literature Award for her complete works.More ...
Artur Becker; © Wikipedia/CC/ Dontworry

Polish Literature in German? A Portrait of Artur Becker

At every convenient opportunity, the author Artur Becker claims that he writes Polish literature – but that he does so in German. Can that really be true? In a portrait of the author, attempts to find an answer to this question.More ...
Part of the cover of “Blut im Wasser“; © Blumenbar Verlag

“The Sea Before Us”: German Authors and Foreign Countries

Thanks to numerous foundations and scholarship awards, writers in Germany have many opportunities to explore other countries. Novels that are actually set abroad, however, are less common.More ...
Anja Tuckermann; © privat

“Giving People a Voice” – An Interview with Anja Tuckermann

Anja Tuckermann is a freelance author living in Berlin who writes for adults, young people and children. In 2006 she was awarded the German Prize for Youth Literature.More ...
Cover of “Onkel J.: Heimatkunde” (i.e. Uncle J: Local History); © Suhrkamp Verlag

The Whole World in the Wetterau: The New German Regional Literature

A smelly uncle and a fly fishing innkeeper’s son: two protagonists in novels by Andreas Maier and Norbert Scheuer. They give a new importance to the provinces in contemporary German literature.More ...
Bertolt Brecht circa 1928 with his Steyr car; © Suhrkamp Verlag

Looking Over Brecht’s Shoulder. The Notebook Edition

Bertolt Brecht’s notebooks give an insight into the work of the poet, playwright and theatre director. The first volume of a print edition was published in late 2010.More ...
Thomas Bernhard; © Andrej Reiser/Suhrkamp Verlag

“The Curtain Rises Every Day” – Thomas Bernhard

He shocked with his powerful attacks of his native Austria and has won awards for his precisely composed language. 2011, Thomas Bernhard would have celebrated his 80th birthday.More ...
Peter Staengle; © privat

“Kleist Is Unique.” Peter Staengle on the Munich Kleist Edition

Heinrich von Kleist is one of the most important German-language poets. Timed to coincide with the 200th anniversary of his suicide, the publishing house Hanser has now brought out a new edition of his novellas, plays and letters.More ...
Kurt Tucholsky; © gemeinfrei

A Very German Classic. Friedhelm Greis on Kurt Tucholsky

On December 21, 1935, the novelist Kurt Tucholsky died in Sweden. spoke with Friedhelm Greis, who observes the reception of Tucholsky’s work in his “Sudelblog” (i.e., Scribble Blog).More ...
Andreas Steinhöfel; © Joachim Boepple

“Something always plops.” An Interview with Andreas Steinhöfel

Andreas Steinhöfel is one of the best known German authors of books for children and young people. His lovingly imagined characters have written themselves in the hearts of readers.More ...
Reinhard Jirgl; © Carl Hanser Verlag/ Annette Pohnert

“Sensual Enrichment of Language.” Interview with Reinhard Jirgl

On 23 October 2010, Berlin author Reinhard Jirgl (57) was presented in Darmstadt with the Georg Büchner Prize, worth 40,000 euros.More ...
Buchreihe „Kölner Ausgabe“; © Kiepenheuer und Witsch

“For Future Generations”: Editor Ralf Schnell on Böll’s Complete Works

In October 2010, the twenty-seven volume edition of Heinrich Böll’s complete works was brought to an end. An interview with Ralf Schnell, spokesman for the board of editors.More ...
Michael Stavaric; © Markus Kirchgessner

Michael Stavaric: An Author with a Future

Michael Stavaric writes in his second language (German) and sees himself as a universal author; he is indeed writing the European literature of today.More ...
Cover of “Abstehende Röhren”; © Zweitausendeins Verlag

Creative Small Business: The Writer and All-Round Artist Thomas Kapielski

Among contemporary German authors, one stands out who for years has been able to operate in various forms of expression and does not fit into any category: Thomas Kapielski.More ...
Cover of „Die Angst des Tormanns beim Elfmeter“; © Süddeutsche Zeitung

The Sphere Has to Go into the Square: German-language Football Literature

Once the ball comes to rest, the stories start rolling. Literature belongs together with the art of football. But do German-language authors really shoot the sphere (the ball) into the square (the book)?More ...
Terézia Mora; © Autorenarchiv Susanne Schleyer

“Through writing, I arrived in life”. An Interview with Terézia Mora.

In 2010, writer Terézia Mora was awarded the Adelbert von Chamisso Prize. With, she speaks about language scepticism, writing as an elixir of life and translation as a calming influence.More ...
Hebel Year: poster for special exhibition, based on the lithograph “J.P. Hebel and Markgräfler”; © Sammlung Museum am Burghof

“You can read Johann Peter Hebel in the suburban train.” An Interview with Bernhard Viel

Johann Peter Hebel is the great unknown classic of German literature. May 10, 2010 will mark the 250th anniversary of his birth. An interview with Hebel biographer Bernhard Viel.More ...
Sarah Kirsch; © Markus Desaga

“You must be able to see the beautiful”. Sarah Kirsch at 75

On April 16, 2010, Sarah Kirsch will celebrate her 75th birthday. Born in 1935 in the Harz, she is probably the most distinctive German poet of the present.More ...
Robert Löhr; © Piper Verlag/ Peter von Felbert

“Alternative History”: An Interview with Writer Robert Löhr

Robert Löhr has devoted himself to historical material, which under his pen unfolds a remarkable life of its own.More ...
Cover of “Goethe und Schiller. Geschichte einer Freundschaft”; © Carl Hanser Verlag

“Friendship Has To Be a Life’s Work.” – Rüdiger Safranski on Goethe and Schiller

In his new book, Rüdiger Safranski describes how one of the most fruitful friendships in the history of German literature arose between the two poets.More ...
Judith Hermann; © Jürgen Bauer

“I’m A Slow Writer” – Interview with Judith Hermann

An interview with the author about lucky coincidences, the life of texts and time frittered away during writing.More ...
Further articles

Call For Entries: ZEBRA Poetry Film Festival

For the 7th time, the ZEBRA Poetry Film Festival is inviting entries for the competition to find the best poetry films. To qualify for entry, films should be short films based on poems. Deadline: 25 April 2014

Goethe-Institut Residencies

Foto: iStockphoto Richard Prudhomme
“Space for new perspectives” – Information about residencies around the globe


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