… is German Lit Month!
When I wrote up the reading plans for November in my last post, it completely slipped my mind, so focused was I on #1968Club. Then I saw Tony Malone tweeting about it and I realised that of course I have to participate. I have done so for the past few years and it’s always a pleasure to make a bit of an indent in my rather large pile of books in German.
I will be modest about how much I can read (and will probably have other things to review), so I will list a mere four:
Herta Müller: Herztier
A group of friends try to stand up to Ceausescu’s regime in Romania, and end up being placed under surveillance. Can friendship and love survive when suspicions and betrayals become the norm? Can they escape all of that by moving abroad?
Arthur Schnitzler: Später Ruhm
Schnitzler’s lost novella about an elderly man who finds literary success far too late in life.
Four young unemployed Berliners hit upon the idea to create a company which sells apologies—apologise, on a contract basis, for others’ misdeeds (firms laying off workers, managers abusing their employees etc.). But then one of their clients turns out to be a killer.
Thomas Willmann: Das finstere Tal
Heard this author talk about his debut novel in Lyon last year and could not resist it. A stranger comes to a remote mountain village, claiming to be a painter. The inhabitants are at first suspicious but are won over by his money. Then winter comes and the village is cut off from the rest of the world. And dead bodies start piling up.
But of course I am keeping my choices open: I might swerve and swoop on something else entirely from my shelves. Or even find new things in the library or in bookshops.
And on that note I just bought another book today which fits into this category. There was a historical research day and book fair at Senate House today and I couldn’t resist taking a peek and found Women in the Weimar Republic by Helen Boak, published by the University of Manchester. I don’t think it will replace my favourite book about women in Germany during the Nazi regime, but it promises to be interesting. Just look at that cover!
Of course, German Lit Month is to celebrate translations of books from German and not specifically books in German, and it also celebrates books from Austria and Switzerland, so do join in if you have anything suitable. And do check out the reviews that others will be posting on the site hosted by Caroline and Lizzy.