Book Club German Book Club Reads Thomas Melle

German Book Club Fall 2019 Goethe-Institut New York


Goethe-Institut New York

30 Irving Place
New York, NY 10003

At the September German Book Club meeting we will discuss Thomas Melle's Die Welt im Rücken (Rowohlt, 2016, €9,99 ISBN: 978-3499272943).

“If you’re bipolar, your life has no continuity anymore. The illness has wrecked your past, and it looms over your future even more threateningly. The life you knew is made more impossible with every manic episode. The person you think you are and know has no firm ground under their feet any more. You literally can’t be sure of yourself. In this short-circuited, manic state, what otherwise would have only briefly flashed through your head before instantly being discarded instead becomes action. Everyone probably has a chasm in their soul, which they reveal occasionally. Mania is when you go on a tour through that chasm. Things you’ve known about yourself for years become invalid. You don’t just start again from scratch, like when you’re bank account’s empty. No, you go down below zero, you’re in the red. You’re no longer connected to anything in a reliable way.”

Thomas Melle has suffered from manic depression, or bipolar disorder, for many years.  He writes unsparingly and eloquently of how he deals with his illness, from personal dramas to slow recover, and he gives an extraordinary insight into what sufferers go through. The book was shortlisted for the 2016 German Book Prize and inspired both critics and readers. 

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