Book Club

Welcome to our monthly Book Club.

We meet to discuss contemporary German literature, from modern classics to more recent arrivals on the literary scene.

All books and discussions are in German.

Schedule and Titles:

Barbara Eskin

Temporary Meeting Space for duration of Goethe-Institut renovation:
137 Jordan Road, Brookline

Goethe-Institut Boston Literatursalon
170 Beacon St., Boston
Info: +1 (617) 262-6050 or

Dates 2018

Robert Menasse: Die Hauptstadt
German Book Prize 2017

With great dramaturgical skill, Menasse light-handedly digs into the deepest layers of this world we call our own – making unmistakably clear that, among other things, the economy alone will not be able to guarantee us a peaceful future. Those who are undermining the peace project that is Europe are among us – not infrequently, 'the others' are we ourselves.

Hanns Zischler: Das Mädchen mit den Orangenpapieren

Hanns Zischler's story is a literary gem of enormous narrative power. Through the precision of observation and the concentration on the individual, Hanns Zischler manages to capture the atmosphere of a time in which – despite trauma and loss – a deep dignity and strength was hidden.

Max Frisch: Biedermann und die Brandstifter
Lehrstück ohne Lehre
Theaterstück, 1958 in Zürich uraufgeführt

At the center of Max Frisch's "Lehrstück ohne Lehre" is Gottlieb Biedermann, a manufacturer of hair oil, who does nothing against the breaking evil out of cowardice and ignorance and thus initiates his own downfall.
Biedermann und die Brandstifter is next to Andorra the most famous drama by Max Frisch. It has been staged on numerous stages since its premiere and is one of the most frequently read titles in German lessons. The print edition already reached one million in 1982.

Daniel Kehlmann: Tyll

In his novel Tyll, published in 2017, Daniel Kehlmann transfers the figure of the Eulenspiegel to the Thirty Years War and tells of the emotional devastation caused by violence.

Gertrud Leutenegger: Panischer Frühling

Gertrud Leutenegger's novel takes place in the spring of 2010, when the ash cloud from the Eyjafjallajökull volcano halted European air traffic.

Patrick Süskind: Der Kontrabass

The subtle, tragicomic grotesque "Der Kontrabass", which is peppered with bitter ideas, is an ingenious litter, precisely because Patrick Süskind has brought his art into a seemingly trivial form.

Dieter Wunderlich
Christa Wolf: Stadt der Engel

From the inside cover: Los Angeles, the city of angels: There, the narrator spends several months at the invitation of the Getty Center in the early nineties. Her research object is the letters of a certain L. from the estate of a deceased friend whose fate she traces. A woman who emigrated from National Socialist Germany to the USA. She observes the American way of life, delves into the past of the New Weimar under palms, as Los Angeles was called as a German-speaking emigrant colony during the Second World War. Time after time she is interrogated about the situation in the reunited Germany: Will the virus of contempt for human beings be revived in the new, uncertain German conditions? In daily reading, in conversations, in dreams, the narrator poses an event of her past, which brings her into an existential crisis and leads to a struggle for the veracity of her own memory.

Uwe Timm: Ikarien

In his autobiographical novel Ikarien the writer Uwe Timm deals with the horror of the past: the genealogy of racial hygiene. The focus is on the Nazi eugenicist Alfred Ploetz – grandfather of his wife – and a pioneer of the National Socialist euthanasia practice.


Information about book purchase:



Global Books

Schoenhof's Foreign Books