Thanks to Caroline and Lizzy for once again hosting German Lit Month in November. This year, Caroline is hosting a readalong of Walter Kempowski’s Alles Umsonst (All for Nothing), and Lizzy will discuss Swiss and Austrian crime fiction.
I’ve been able to read a little ahead, so I have a few posts planned already. But now I can’t decide what else to read. Maybe you can help me. Which of these would you read?
From the innocence of the last summer of East Germany’s existence to the street fights around German reunification, in this autobiographic novel, Peter Richter describes the chaotic end of East Germany from the perspective of a then-16-year-old.
I don’t think this one is available in English, but I read the first chapter and I think I will like it.
Look at this cover! Isn’t it fascinating how much it conveys, despite being so Spartan? Yet despite the very many positive reviews out there, I still am not sure if I am ready to read a novel about Hitler’s return. I think I just need to sit down and do it.
This one sounds interesting because of its setting: “A young idealist, David arrives in Rwanda in 1990 to work for the Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation. He finds a life of postcolonial privilege and boredom, inhabited by expats who know little about Rwandans and cannot be bothered to learn the local language. Relief from boredom comes with civil war…” (from Goodreads)
The description of this book made me laugh, and I found it so irresistible that I simply had to purchase it: “Written with pace, humor and startling literary allusion, Lilian Faschinger’s novel is the story of the sensual Magdalena, who, disguised in a nun’s habit, kidnaps a priest at gunpoint and drives him in the sidecar of her Puch motorbike to a remote forest clearing where she ties him to a tree. What she is about to confess to him is profoundly shocking…” (from Goodreads)
This one has been shortlisted for the Booker International Prize, and my mom brought it when she visited this summer: “Set in the mid-twentieth century and told with beauty and tenderness, [the protagonist’s] story is one of man’s relationship with an ancient landscape, of the value of solitude, the arrival of the modern world, and above all, of the moments, great and small, that make us who we are.” (from Goodreads)
The English translation of this novel was published earlier this year by Seagull Books: “Werner Bräunig was once regarded as the great hope of East German literature—until an extract from Rummelplatz was read before the East German censorship authorities in 1965, and fierce opposition summarily sealed its fate. The novel’s sin? It painted an all too accurate picture of East German society.” (from Goodreads). I really want to read this, but it’s big…