Books First

With more than 10,000 new works published each year, it is not easy to keep track of what is happening on the book markets in Germany, Austria and Switzerland. The idea of BOOKS FIRST was to give the English-speaking publishing industry and other interested readers some initial orientation so that they could then discover some of the fascinating writers and exciting works for themselves.

Books First Fiction Readers © Sebastian Huber / Goethe-Institut From the suggestions we received from numerous publishers, a jury of literary experts picked its favourites: books whose literary quality impressed us and that we believed would also appeal to an international readership.

Our three readers published here in the genres fiction, comic/graphic novel as well as children and young adults give an initial yet informative impression of new German-language publications that are well worth discovering. As well as providing a review and information about the authors, the readers also include English samples from the books.

As yet, the licences to these works have not been sold to the English-speaking world. For English-language publishers interested in publishing the books in English, we offer a guaranteed translation grant within the framework of the BOOKS FIRST program even after the end of the BOOKS FIRST programme.

The Fiction Reader

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The Comic/GRAPHIC NOVEL Reader

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The Children/Young Adults Reader

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Hard Copies

Printed copies of the readers can be ordered free of charge via:

Our Jury

The selection of books featured in this reader was carefully chosen by a jury composed of Goethe-Institut staff from Munich, Berlin, and New York City, colleagues from the Swiss cultural foundation Pro Helvetia as well as external experts on literature.

Our special thanks for their advice goes to:

Fiction: Kristina Maidt-Zinke, literary critic and cultural journalist

Comic/Graphic Novel: Elizabeth "Biz" Nijdam, Germanist and comics/media studies scholar

Children's & Young Adult Literature: Michael Schmitt, literary critic and cultural Journalist and Kendra Marcus, founder of BookStop Literary Agency