NBG Choices

A selection of books in English translation recommended for reviewers, booksellers, literary festivals and readers.


Koehlmeier cover
Yiza Michael Köhlmeier

Part dark fairy tale, part mystery, Yiza is the story of three street children on the run in Germany. Trekking through snowy forests and housing settlements, Yiza, Schamhan and Arian evade police custody, subsisting on the margins of society and doing whatever it takes to survive. Narrated in simple language and with an innocent charm that belies its social reality, Yiza is a pertinent and timely tale of displacement and suffering.

Lewitscharoff cover
Blumenberg Sibylle Lewitscharoff

One night, German philosopher Hans Blumenberg returns to his study to find a lion lying on the floor as if it’s the most natural thing in the world. The philosopher with some effort retains his composure, even when the next day during his lecture the lion reappears, ambling slowly down the centre aisle. Blumenberg glances around; the seats are full, but none of his students seem to see the lion. What is going on here?

Dehe cover
Eichmann's Executioner Astrid Dehe & , Achim Engstler

Long after Eichmann’s death, his executioner is still haunted by his memories. He remembers watching Eichmann day and night, the way he eats, the way he lies in bed, the sound of the cord tensing around his neck. But as he tells and re-tells his story, he begins to doubt himself. And when one of his friends reveals his own link to Eichmann, Nagar is forced to reconsider everything he has ever believed about his past.

Rothmann cover
To Die in Spring Ralf Rothmann

'In the last days of the Second World War two young farm workers – one of them the narrator’s father – are drafted into the SS to fight on the Eastern front in Hungary. The horrors they witness will reverberate into the present. Pin-sharp poetic imagery illuminates a re-imagined memory, and brings to life the experience of a forgotten generation.’ – Shaun Whiteside, translator

Erpenbeck cover
Go, Went, Gone Jenny Erpenbeck

Retired classics professor Richard is wrenched out of his routine existence when he spies some African refugees staging a hunger strike in Alexanderplatz, Berlin. Curiosity turns into compassion and an inner transformation as he visits their shelter, interviews them, and becomes embroiled in their harrowing fates. Go, Went, Gone addresses one of the most pivotal issues of our time, facing it head-on in a voice that is both nostalgic and frightening.

Hensel cover
Dance by the Canal Kerstin Hensel

Gabriela grows up in the East German town of Leibnitz, raised by successful parents whom she constantly disappoints. She shows no talent as a violinist and, worse, she fails to choose the right friends at school. When her father falls out of favour with the communists, Gabriela drops out of school, and eventually ends up living beneath a canal bridge. Then the Wall comes down. Can Gabriela seize a second chance in the new, united Germany?

Tawada - cover
Memoirs of a Polar Bear
Hansen - cover
This House is Mine
Herrndorf - cover
Abarbanell - cover
Seiler - cover
Helle - cover
Geiger - cover
The Old King in his Exile


Hoesle - cover
A Short History of German Philosophy
Kermani - cover
Upheaval: The Refugee Trek through Europe
Rüdiger Safranski - cover
Ulrich Raulff - cover
Farewell to the Horse

Crime Thriller

Kutscher - cover
The Silent Death
Sacha Batthyany - cover
A Crime in the Family

Modern Classics

Huch - cover
The Last Summer
Günter Grass - cover
Of All That Ends

Also Recommended

Hessel - cover
Walking in Berlin