Book Club Meeting Climate Fiction: Der brennende See

John von Düffel: Der brennende See © Dumont Buchverlag

Tue, 02.11.2021

18:30 Uhr BST


For this special book club during the COP26 climate change conference in Glasgow we read and discuss John von Düffel's novel "Der brennende See" (The Burning Lake). The novel was one of the first in the German-speaking world to be dedicated to the "Fridays for Future" movement and revolves around a generational conflict that ignites around the question of responsibility for climate change.


Hannah, daughter of a writer, returns to the city of her childhood after her father's death. She is little interested in his legacy. But when Hannah takes her first steps to dissolve the deceased's apartment, she finds a photograph of an unknown woman on his deathbed. In the shimmering heat of another record-breakingly dry April, Hannah sets out in search of clues with this picture. Soon she has to realize that not only the familiar landscape of her childhood dissolves into dust and smoke. All the images of the past slip away from her, not least that of her father. When she then comes across the Fridays-for-Future activist Julia, who has radicalized herself in a questionable way in her fight for climate justice, she realizes that in the end her father was closer to this young woman than to her. She may even be the true daughter of the writer ...

A generational novel on the burning issue of our time.

Extract in German: 'Der brennende See'


John von Düffel was born in Göttingen in 1966, he works as a dramaturge at Deutsches Theater Berlin and is pro-fessor of scenic writing at the Berlin University of the Arts. He has published novels and story col-lections with DuMont since 1998, including 'Vom Wasser' (1998), 'Houwelandt' (2004), 'Was-sererzählungen' (2014), 'Das Klassenbuch' (2017), 'Der brennende See' (2020) and most recently 'Wasser und andere Welten' (new edition 2021). His works have been awarded numerous prizes, including the aspekte Literature Prize and the Nicolas Born Prize.

Text source: Dumont Buchverlag


Everyone who wants to read and discover German books and share their reading experience with others is welcome. The conversation will be in German. All participants should have sufficient language skills to read and discuss in German. 

Participation is free of charge.


To receive the link for participation in our digital book club meeting, please send an email to


We will use Zoom for our meeting. We recommend the use of a headset, as speakers can create disturbing echo effects. To participate, simply follow the link we will send you when you register.