Home Visit
Katja Lange-Müller

Katja Lange-Müller Katja Lange-Müller | © Ute Döring

Katja Lange-Müller was born in 1951 in East Berlin, and is well-known for her novels, short stories, audio plays and radio dramas. These are often about the division of Germany and its consequences, with a mixture of melancholia and humour. Two years after she fled from the German Democratic Republic to West Berlin, in 1986, she published her first book Wehleid – wie im Leben (Self-pity – as in life), for which she received the Ingeborg Bachmann Prize. This was followed by further works, such as Die Letzten. Aufzeichnungen aus Udo Posbichs Druckerei (The Last Ones. Notes from Udo Posbich’s Printworks), Die Enten, die Frauen und die Wahrheit (Ducks, Women and the Truth), and Böse Schafe (Angry Sheep). She was awarded many prizes for her books – including the Alfred Döblin Prize, the Berlin Literature Prize and the Kleist Prize in 2013.

In August 2016 she will publish her new novel Drehtür (Revolving Door), in which she tackles a current and existential theme: helping and the risks it entails.

Some words about Hausbesuch

What did you take home from the project?
“The “home visit” project brought me together with a wide variety of people, including people I probably wouldn’t have come across otherwise – for instance the ladies’ chamber orchestra in Freiburg, of which my esteemed colleague Annette Pehnt is a member, or the homeless people from Berlin at the railway station of this beautiful, rich city, and the students from diverse locations all over the world who incredibly view the German word “helfen” (= to help) even more sceptically than I do. In Brussels though I met Hilde, the sister of Els, my translator, who told me about her hard work for illegal immigrants over dinner in the African Matongé district, or my host Sylvia Binger, who was actively involved with the European Economic and Social Committee for a long time.”    Katja Lange-Müller