5 short German Novellas chosen by Gregor Hens

I  decide to ask the German writer Translator and Critic Gregor hens , whose new book Nicotine is out this week and will be reviewed here in due course his favourite German novels he wrote back .
I couldn´t give you a list of my favourite German books, but here´s a list of books that have two qualities in common, both of which I value highly: They are extremely unsettling and they are short. Best wishes – Gregor’

1. Heinrich von Kleist: Michael Kohlhaas
Kafka claims to have read it more than ten times. The powerful and radical story of a vigilante horsetrader, set in 16th-century Saxony, was the basis for E. L. Doctorow´s modern classic Ragtime.I reviewed Von Kleist  here Kohlhaas was one of the stories in that collection

2. Thomas Bernhard: Ja / Yes
The self-absorbed master of the tragicomical at his best… the title, Yes, is in anwer to the question whether the protagonist, a Persian woman, intends to kill herself. I’ve not reviewed this book by Bernhad but here is a lot Bernhard post on the blog



3. Marcus Braun: Delhi and Peter Rosei: Wer war Edgar Allen? This is a tie. Two amazing books whose plots I remember only hazily, possibly because copious amount of alcohol and heroin are consumed by their wandering, disoriented protagonists.Two titles yet to reach us in english



4. Michael Kumpfmüller: Durst / Thurst
Heart-wrenching, raw and yet subtle story of a woman who leaves her small children to die in a hot apartment. If you think you understand human behaviour – read this and think again.Michael has had another book glory of life translated My review here 

5. Angelika Klüssendorf: Das Mädchen / The Girl
Brutally straight-forward, unsentimental story of a girl who escapes from an East-German childhood of parental neglect and tyranny. Beautifully written. Should have won the German book prize for which it was short-listed.Another book to reach us .

Thanks Greogr I do hope the ones yet to be translated get translated The girl looks great and was sortlisted for German book prize .Gregors book Nicotine is out this week from Fitzcarraldo 

10 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Guy Savage
    Nov 05, 2015 @ 21:11:34

    Thanks, Stu. I really like Thomas Bernhard’s work


  2. roughghosts
    Nov 05, 2015 @ 23:40:51

    Thanks for this Stu, some interesting suggestions here that I had not heard of (like I need more books). 🙂


  3. MarinaSofia
    Nov 06, 2015 @ 07:38:49

    Oooh, I like every one of these suggestions – thank you! They go firmly on the TBR list…. sigh….


  4. JacquiWine
    Nov 06, 2015 @ 07:39:23

    Great idea for a post, Stu. I must try Thomas Bernhard at some point – everyone seems to rate his work very highly.


  5. Tony
    Nov 06, 2015 @ 08:29:23

    Bernhard, yes – Kleist, no 😉 As I recall, I really struggled with this one…


  6. Lisa Hill
    Nov 06, 2015 @ 21:49:44

    How nice to hear from the translator, Stu! What a good idea to write to him…


  7. Mytwostotinki
    Nov 07, 2015 @ 15:06:48

    Interesting suggestions, Stu. Haven’t read any Rosei since a long time, but it’s a good author that deserves to be explored again.


  8. Trackback: Nicotine by Gregor Hens | Winstonsdad's Blog
  9. Trackback: German Literature Month V: Author Index | Lizzy's Literary Life

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November 2015


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