Current Writing in German

GINY © Jacobia Dahm

What's new in the German literary scene? Here we'll keep you informed about current events, authors to discover, new publications and translations into English.

New German Biographies in Translation

Goethe: Life as a Work of Art © W.W. Norton

Goethe:
Life as a Work of Art


By Rüdiger Safranski
Translated by David Dollenmayer
W.W. Norton, 2017
Original title: Goethe: Kunstwerk des Lebens

Habermas: A Biography © Polity

Habermas:
A Biography


By Stefan Müller-Doohm
Translated by Daniel Steuer
Polity, 2016
Original title: Jürgen Habermas: Eine Biographie

Kafka: The Early Years © Princeton University Press

Kafka:
The Early Years


By Reiner Stach
Translated by Shelley Frisch
Princeton University Press, 2016
Origina title: Kafka: Die frühen Jahre

Days of Twilight, Nights of Frenzy © University of Chicago

Days of Twilight, Nights of Frenzy


By Werner Schroeter with Claudia Lenssen
Translated by Anthea Bell
University of Chicago, 2017
Original title: Tage im Dämmer, Nächte im Rausch

2017 Georg Büchner Prize

The German Academy for Language and Literature awarded Jan Wagner the 2017 Georg Büchner Prize.  The academy stated in their decision that Wagner’s “poems combine a playful pleasure in language with a masterful control of form, musical sensuality and intellectual conciseness.” The prize carries a €50,000 award.
 

2017 Leipzig Book Fair Prize

Natascha Wodin receives the Leipzig Book Fair Prize © Jens Ulrich

Natascha Wodin

The 2017 Leipzig Book Fair Prize for Fiction went to Natascha Wodin. Her Prize-Winning Book Sie kam aus Mariupol [She Came From Mariupol] is an exceptional book that details a forensic search for the truth.

 

Autumn 2016 New Books in German

New Books in German

20th Anniversary Issue

Be sure to check out the brand new website launched in honor of the 20th anniversary issue of New Books in German!

2016 German Book Prize

DBP16 Shortlist © Petra Gass

Prize Winner 2016

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

Jenny Erpenbeck

Jenny Erpenbeck:
The End of Days

Translated by Susan Bernofsky
New Directions, 2014
Original title: Aller Tage abend

Aisha Franz

Aisha Franz: Earthling

Translated by Helge Dascher
Drawn & Quarterly, 2014
Original title: Alien

Olga Grjasnowa

Olga Grjasnowa:
All Russians Love Birch Trees

Translated by Eva Bacon
Other Press, 2012
Original title: Der Russe ist einer, der Birken liebt

Monika Held

Monika Held:
This Place Holds No Fear

Translated by Anne Posten
Haus Publishing Ltd, 2015
Original title: Der Schrecken verliert sich vor Ort

Inka Parei

Inka Parei:
The Cold Centre

Translated by Katy Derbyshire
Seagull, 2014
Original title: Die Kältezentrale

Andrea Maria Schenkel

Andrea Maria Schenkel:
The Murder Farm

Translated by Anthea Bell
Quercus, 2008
Original title: Tannöd

Karin Wieland

Karin Wieland:
Dietrich & Riefenstahl: Hollywood, Berlin and a Century of Two Lives

Translated by Shelley Frisch
Liveright, 2015
Original title: Dietrich & Riefenstahl: Der Traum von der neuen Frau

Uljana Wolf

Uljana Wolf:
I mean that I dislike that fate that I was made to where

Translated by Sophie Seita
Wonder, 2015
Original title: meine schönste lengevitsch

2016 Georg Büchner Prize

The German Academy for Language and Literature will award author Marcel Beyer the 2016 Georg Büchner Prize at an award ceremony in Darmstadt in November. The prize carries a €50,000 award.

2016 TRANSLATIONS INTO ENGLISH

Thomas Bernhard

Thomas Bernhard: Goethe dies

Translated by James Reidel
Seagull, 2016
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.
 

Larissa Boehning

Larissa Boehning: Swallow Summer

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.

Alina Bronsky

Alina Bronsky: Baba Dunja's Last Love

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.

 

Stefanie de Velasco

Stefanie de Velasco: Tiger Milk

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.

Jörg Fauser

Jörg Fauser:
Raw Material

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. 


 

Reinhard Kleist

Reinhard Kleist:
An Olympic Dream

Translated by Ivanka Hahnenberger
Abrams, 2016
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.
 

Christoph Kloeble

Christoph Kloeble: Almost Everything Very Fast

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.

Robert Menasse

Robert Menasse:
Enraged Citizens, European Peace and Democratic Deficiencies

Translated by Craig Decker
Seagull, 2016
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.

Herta Müller

Herta Müller:
The Fox was ever the Hunter

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.
 

Christoph Ransmayr

Christoph Ransmayr:
Atlas of an Anxious Man

Translated by Simon Pare
Seagull, 2016
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.

Reiner Stach

Reiner Stach:
Is that Kafka? 99 finds

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.

Sasa Stanisic

Saša Stanišić:
Before the Feast

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.
 

Martin Suter

Martin Suter:
The Last Weynfeldt

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. 

Volker Weidermann

Volker Weidermann:
Ostend: Stefan Zweig, Joseph Roth, and the Summer Before the Dark

Translated by Carol Brown Janeway
Pantheon, 2016
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.

Prize of the Leipzig Book Fair 2016