As part of the 2018-2019 initiative "Year of German-American Friendship (Deutschlandjahr)," encompassed by the motto #WunderbarTogether, the Goethe-Institut Washington, Politics and Prose Bookstore, and Grove Atlantic Press invite you to an author talk, reading, and book signing with Takis Würger
. This engagement is part of the BOOKS FIRST program, which seeks to bring awareness of German-language literature to the English-speaking world.
The English-language debut of Takis Würger, one of Germany’s most highly regarded young writers, The Club (Grove Press; March 12, 2019; $26.00; ISBN-13: 978-0-8021-2896-0)
is a blistering and timely novel set at Cambridge University, centering around an all-male dining club for the most privileged and wealthy young men at Cambridge and following an outsider who exposes the dark secrets of this group, the Pitt Club.
As a boy, Hans Stichler enjoys a fable-like childhood among the rolling hills and forests of North Germany, living an idyll that seems uninterruptable. A visit from Hans’s ailing English aunt Alex, who comes to stay for an entire summer, has a profound effect on the young Hans, all the more so when she invites him to come to university at Cambridge, where she teaches art history. Alex will ensure his application to St. John’s College is accepted, but in return he must help her investigate an elite university club of young aristocrats and wealthy social climbers, the Pitt Club.
The club has existed at Cambridge for centuries, its long legacy of tradition and privilege largely unquestioned. As Hans makes his best efforts to prove club material and infiltrate its ranks, including testing his mettle in the boxing ring, he is drawn into a world of extravagance, debauchery, and macho solidarity. And when he falls in love with fellow student Charlotte, he sees a potential new life of upper-class sophistication opening up to him. But there are secrets in the club’s history, as well as in its present—and Hans soon finds himself in the inner sanctum of what proves to be an increasingly dangerous institution, forced to grapple with the notion that sometimes one must do wrong to do right.
© Sven Döring
is a reporter working for the German news magazine Der Spiegel
. He studied Human, Social, and Political Science at St. John’s College Cambridge for a year before dropping out. During this time, he boxed for the University, broke two ribs and his hand, and became a member of the Adonians, the Hawks’ Club, and the Pitt Club.
Named one of Medium
’s “Top 30 Journalists under 30,” alongside other accolades, Würger’s work as a journalist has taken him to Afghanistan, Libya, Mexico, and Ukraine. The Club
, which won the lit. Cologne debut prize and has become a runaway bestseller in Germany, is his first novel.
The novel's English translation will be released on March 12, 2019, and can be purchased on the Politics and Prose website (see link at right).