Read more about the six titles nominated for the Shortlist of this year's German Book Prize. The prize winner is Bodo Kirchhoff's Widerfahrnis(Frankfurter Verlagsanstalt)!
August 2016 Women in Translation
In honor of Women in Translation month, we have selected titles both written and translated by women - all available to borrow from our library.
For more recommendations, check out #WITMonth on Twitter.
"I think that it’s important for us to be aware as readers if we really enjoy reading books by women in English, probably we would also enjoy reading books by women in translation and seek those books out. There are a lot of really fantastic female writers all over the globe, and I think that that tide is turning too. I think we are going to see a lot more fantastic translated literature by women available."
- Translator Susan Bernofsky, in a June 2016 interview on our US Portal.
Translated by James Reidel
Original title: Goethe schtirbt
This collection of four stories by “one of the masters of European fiction” is, as longtime fans of Thomas Bernhard would expect, bleakly comic and inspiringly rancorous. Underpinning all these variously comic, tragic, and bitingly satirical excursions is Bernhard’s abiding interest in, and deep knowledge of, the philosophy of doubt.
Translated by Lyn Marven
Comma Press, 2016
Original title: Schwalbensommer
The settings in this acclaimed debut collection range from the German coast to Berlin, from Tel Aviv to Tucson, Arizona, but their protagonists are often the same kind of characters with the same kinds of concerns. Loss and lack of direction; transitoriness; fatalism—these are universal themes, and in Swallow Summer, Larissa Boehning has brought them sparklingly up to date.
Translated by Tim Mohr
Europa Editions, 2016
Original title: Baba Dunjas letzte Liebe
Government warnings about radiation levels in her hometown (a stone’s throw from Chernobyl) be damned! Baba Dunja is going home. And she’s taking a motley bunch of her former neighbors with her. From the prodigiously talented Alina Bronsky, this is a story of a post-meltdown settlement, and of an unusual woman, who, late in life, finds her version of paradise.
Translated by Tim Mohr
Head of Zeus, 2016
Original title: Tigermilch
Nini and Jameelah are 14, best friends forever. This summer they're going to grow up, together, on their terms. But things don't always turn out the way you plan. As the summer holidays stretch out before them, Berlin becomes their playground. Tender, funny, shocking and tragic, Tiger Milk captures what it is to be young.
Translated by Jaime Bulloch
Serpent's Tail, 2016
Original title: Rohstoff
In Raw Material Jörg Fauser casts an eye over the times he lived in: his time as a junkie in Istanbul, the move to a commune in Berlin and a squat in Frankfurt, work on an underground magazine, and his unceasing efforts to get a novel published. This is an unsparing, razor-sharp, but often lovingly ironic portrait of the 1960s and 70s.
Translated by Ivanka Hahnenberger
Original title: Der Traum von Olympia
In 2008, 17-year-old Samia Yusuf Omar ran the Olympic 200m. Four years later, she boarded a refugee boat to Europe, risking her life on the waters of the Mediterranean. An Olympic Dream is a forceful statement on Europe‘s response to the refugee crisis, but it is also a moving account of a remarkable life.
Translated by Aaron Kerner
Graywolf Press, 2016
Original title: Meistens alles sehr schnell
Albert is nineteen, grew up in an orphanage, and never knew his mother. All his life Albert had to be a father to his father: Fred is a child trapped in the body of an old man. With time working against them, Albert and Fred set out on an adventurous voyage of discovery that leads them via the underground sewers into the distant past.
Translated by Craig Decker
Original title: Der europäische Landbote
In 2010, Robert Menasse journeyed to Brussels to begin work on a novel centered on the European Union. His extended stay resulted in a completely different book, a work of nonfiction examining the history of the European project and the evolving politics of nation-states. Menasse weaves an intriguing tale of one continent’s efforts to become a truly postnational democracy.
Translated by Phillip Boehm
Metropolitan Books, 2016
Original title: Der Fuchs, der Jäger
Romania - the last months of the Ceausescu regime. Adina is a young schoolteacher. Paul is a musician. Clara works in a wire factory. Pavel is Clara’s lover. But one of them works for the secret police and is reporting on the rest of the group. Once again, Nobel Prize Winner Herta Müller creates a hauntingly cinematic portrayal of the corruption of the soul under totalitarianism.
Translated by Simon Pare
Original title: Atlas eines ängstlichen Mannes
Christoph Ransmayr offers a mesmerizing travel diary—a sprawling tale of earthly wonders seen by a wandering eye. This unique account follows Ransmayr across the globe. Like maps, the episodes come together to become a book of the world—one that charts the life and death, happiness and fate of people bound up in images of breathtaking beauty.
Translated by Kurt Beals
New Directions, 2016
Original title: Ist das Kafka? 99 Fundstücke
In the course of compiling his highly acclaimed three-volume biography of Kafka, Reiner Stach made one astounding discovery after another. For Is that Kafka? Stach has assembled 99 of his most exciting discoveries, culling the choicest, most entertaining bits, and adding his knowledge-able commentaries. Illustrated with dozens of previously unknown images, this volume is a singular literary pleasure.
Translated by Anthea Bell
Tin House Books, 2016
Original title: Vor dem Fest
It’s the evening before the feast in the village of Fürstenfelde. Someone has opened the doors to the Village Archive, but what drives the sleepless out of their houses is not that which was stolen, but that which has escaped. Old stories, myths, and fairy tales are wandering about the streets with the people.
Translated by Steph Morris
New Vessel Press, 2016
Original title: Der letzte Weynfeldt
Adrian Weynfeldt is an art expert in an international auction house. Always correct and well-mannered, he’s given up on love until one night, Weynfeldt decides to take home a ravishing but unaccountable young woman. As their two lives become entangled, Weynfeldt gets embroiled in an art forgery scheme that threatens to destroy everything he and his prominent family have stood for.
Translated by Carol Brown Janeway
Original title: Ostende: 1936, Sommer der Freundschaft
It’s the summer of 1936, and the writer Stefan Zweig reunites with fellow writer and semi-estranged close friend Joseph Roth in Belgian beach town Ostend. Volker Weidermann lyrically recounts “the summer before the dark,” when a coterie of artists, intellectuals, drunks, revolutionaries, and madmen found themselves in limbo while Europe teetered on the edge of fascism and total war.