Archive for the ‘Germany’ Category

THE THIRD REICH by Roberto Bolano

Bolaño cites this quotation from Goethe (also given in German) towards the end of this early but posthumously discovered novel. It is as good a key as any to what the book may be about. The protagonist, Udo Berger, a German in his mid-twenties, is literally a guest — in a hotel. He is taking a late summer vacation with his girlfriend Ingeborg in a beach hotel on the Costa Brava where he used to come with his family as a child. Together with another German couple, Hanna and Charly, they engage in the usual occupations: swimming, sunbathing, eating, drinking (a lot), and making love. But shadows hang over this idyll.

November 22, 2011 · Judi Clark · No Comments
Tags: , ,  · Posted in: Facing History, Germany, World Lit

HAND ME DOWN WORLD by Lloyd Jones

Who is Ines, an illegal African migrant who embarks on a hazardous sea crossing to Italy and Germany in search of her stolen son? At first, she is a total enigma; we keep wishing there was, indeed, more of her to see. Slowly and painstakingly, her inner identity is revealed in this haunting new book by Lloyd Jones, author of the acclaimed MISTER PIP.

September 28, 2011 · Judi Clark · No Comments
Tags: ,  · Posted in: Contemporary, Germany, italy, World Lit, y Award Winning Author

THE GLASS DEMON by Helen Grant

“I didn’t believe in demons; I ranked them with ghosts and vampires and werewolves, as products of a fevered imagination, or phenomena with a perfectly rational explanation. I did not realize yet, that summer when I was seventeen and my sister Polly was still alive, when the sun was shining and even the wind was warm and my whole body was restless, that there are worse things than being stuck in a small town for a year. There are demons, and they are more terrible than we can imagine.”

August 27, 2011 · Judi Clark · No Comments
Tags: ,  · Posted in: Coming-of-Age, Germany, Mystery/Suspense, Psychological Suspense, Speculative (Beyond Reality)

CHILDREN AND FIRE by Ursula Hegi

In her new novel, CHILDREN AND FIRE, Ursula Hegi tells the story of Thekla Jansen, a teacher in the fictional German village of Burgdorf, familiar to readers of the author’s previous novels. Taking for the most part the perspective of her heroine, Hegi explores, from the inside out so to say, the emotional confusion and moral dilemmas that Germans were confronted with after the Nazis’ rise to power. The author sets the historical stage effectively, and while alluding to pivotal events, she focuses her attention on one specific day in February 1934, a day that, while starting off like any other, ends with the Burgdorf residents shocked, emotionally scarred and deeply divided…

June 28, 2011 · Judi Clark · No Comments
Tags: , , ,  · Posted in: Facing History, Germany, Reading Guide, World Lit

THE STRONGER SEX by Hans Werner Kettenbach

The German novel, THE STRONGER SEX, by Hans Werner Kettenbach is ostensibly about a lawsuit–a very grubby lawsuit, but the story is really about the tangled relationships between the people involved in the case. Lawyer Alexander Zabel, in his late twenties, is rather surprised to find himself pressured into representing the elderly, ailing German industrialist, Herbert Klofft in a case involving his former employee, 34-year-old Katharina Fuchs. Katharina, an engineer who has worked in Klofft’s company, Klofft’s Valves, for eleven years was fired after requesting sick leave.

June 17, 2011 · Judi Clark · No Comments
Tags: , , ,  · Posted in: Character Driven, Germany, Mystery/Suspense, Psychological Suspense, Translated, World Lit

THE ARTIFICIAL SILK GIRL by Irmgard Keun

There is nothing fake or “artificial” about the heroine of this surprising work of fiction. First published in 1932 in Germany, it was followed very quickly by its English translation in 1933. It was an immediate hit for a young author’s second novel; praised for its pointed sense of humour as well as the underlying critique of society. The story, written in the form of the central character’s musings and diary, blends a young woman’s daily struggles to make ends meet with, an at times sarcastic, yet always, witty commentary on daily life among the working classes during the dying days of the Weimar Republic.

June 14, 2011 · Judi Clark · No Comments
Tags:  · Posted in: Character Driven, Classic, Germany, Translated, World Lit