New Books in German promotes German-language literature for translation into English in the UK, USA, and beyond. We feature recommendations of the best new fiction and non-fiction titles from Austria, Germany, and Switzerland. We publish articles and information on books, authors, and those who translate or work with them.
On the website you can explore exciting and accomplished contemporary German-language literature and non-fiction. Busy editors can find and share information on the latest books deemed suitable for an international audience. German-language publishers can bring their books to a wider audience, with the endorsement that being selected by New Books in German brings.
Twice a year we convene expert juries in the UK and US to select books submitted to us by German-language publishers. Those that we go on to recommend here have been judged to have a high chance of success in an English-speaking market.
New Books in German took shape at a seminar held in London in 1996. Members of the book trade met to discuss why so few books were being translated from German into English, and what might be done about this. It was clear that readers of English were being denied access to some of the best books in a variety of fields. You can read an interview with Tanja Howarth, one of the founders of NBG here.
Who we are
Sarah is the Project Director of New Books in German.
Sarah previously worked in grant writing and communications in human rights, working with donors in Europe, the US and Africa and managing a publications programme.
The last translations I read: Daughters by Lucy Fricke, translated by Sinéad Crowe really resonated and made me laugh out loud.
Looking forward to reading: I am looking forward to New Year by Juli Zeh, included here in our round up of English translations.
Annie is our Writer (interim).
Annie is a writer and translator, and also works as second-in-command at StAnza, Scotland’s international poetry festival.
The last translations I read: Daughters by Lucy Fricke (tr. Sinéad Crowe) – I always get excited about books which focus in on friendships between women, and Fricke adds a madcap road trip and a generous dose of dark humour into the mix. The Book of Anna by Carmen Boullosa (tr. Samantha Schnee) offers a vibrant re-imagining of some of Tolstoy’s minor characters in a St Petersburg simmering with revolt, interwoven with Angela Carter-esque fairytales. I’m also reading my way through Arc’s Versopolis anthology at the moment, showcasing a whole range of poets from across Europe.
Looking forward to reading: not a translation, but I’ve just got my paws on Ely Percy’s Duckfeet (you can read an extract here). I’ve read the odd snippet already and was in fits of laughter – I can’t wait to read the whole thing!
A book I’d love to translate: Die Erstaunlichen Abenteuer der Maulina Schmitt by Finn-Ole Heinrich. One of my absolute favourite children’s books, this is a wonderfully heartfelt story with a hilarious heroine and plenty of wordplay which I’d doubtless tie myself up knots in if translating!
Sarah is our Social Media and Website Co-ordinator.
Sarah is a Writer and Communications Specialist.
Currently working on her first novel focused on raising awareness of mental health challenges, Sarah carries out freelance work for global charities and non-profit organisations – helping to improve their engagement and outreach. You can find out more about her work at www.sarahbuckmaster.com. She is also the host of the How to be Good? Podcast.
The last translations I read: I have just finished Philipp Winkler’s Hooligan (tr. Bradley Schmidt). I delayed reading this novel for a while because I can sometimes shy away from masculine narratives, but I’m so pleased I finally sat down and read it – it’s such powerful writing. I can now completely understand the popularity of this book.
Looking forward to reading: I am eager to read Juli Zeh’s Empty Hearts (tr. John Cullen). As I’m in the midst of writing my own dystopian fiction novel, I’m excited to read anything in the same kind of area for inspiration (and motivation to keep pushing through with my writing!). Juli Zeh’s background as an attorney adds such a depth to her story-telling so I can’t wait to read this one.
Sarah is a freelance translator, reviewer and copy editor and is our proofreader and copy editor.
The last translations I read: Sandra Hoffmann’s Paula (a luminous translation by Katy Derbyshire, and a work I was lucky enough to get to work on at the British Centre for Literary Translation summer school in 2018); and 1913: The Year Before the Storm by Florian Illies (tr. Shaun Whiteside and Jamie Lee Searle), a wide-ranging and unconventional artistic portrait of a portentous 12-months.
Helen is our intern for the spring 22 selection round.
Helen is a freelance translator from German to English and has been translating for over 30 years. She also works as a secondary school teacher for German and German Literature.
The last translation I read: I am re-reading Per Petterson’s beautifully quiet, but heartbreaking Out Stealing Horses (tr by Anne Born).
Looking forward to reading: The translations piled high on my bedside table are Gabriele Tergit’s Käsebier takes Berlin (tr. by Sophie Duvernoy), Clemens Meyer’s Bricks and Mortar (tr. Katy Derbyshire), Heinz Rein’s Berlin Finale (tr. Shaun Whiteside). Am endlessly fascinated by Berlin!
I have just finished reading Colm Tóibín’s completely absorbing fictionalised life of Thomas Mann and his family – The Magician.
Sheridan is our Editorial Consultant.
She has worked on our editorial team for ten years, and also does freelance editorial and translation work.
The last translations I read: I was very pleased to spot Katharina Hagena’s, The Taste of Apple Seeds (tr.Jamie Bulloch), on the display table in my local library when I was there in mid-March 2020, panic-borrowing as many books as possible before lockdown started. We featured this book during my early involvement with NBG and I had never got round to reading it, but it proved to be a jewel in my lockdown reading. I recommended Robert Menasse’s The Capital, (tr. Jamie Bulloch) to my book club recently and we enjoyed discussing its satirical take on the EU as the Brexit saga rumbles on.
Angela is an intern for Autumn ’21.
She is a freelance DE-ENG translator/proofreader and works as a copy editor at V & Q Books.
The last translations I read: I loved the existential People in the Room by Norah Lange (translated by Charlotte Whittle); and the quirky noir Drive Your Plow Over the Bones of the Dead by Olga Tokarczuk (translated by Antonia Lloyd-Jones).
Not a translation per se, but an interesting experimental novel I’d recommend for anyone with an interest in the German mystic, Hildegard von Bingen, is Unknown Language by Huw Lemmy (published by Ignota Books). I like the notion of a collaboration between the author and the spirit of Hildegard!
Translations I’m looking forward to reading: Jana Scheerer’s The Sea in My Room, and Iris Hanika’s The Bureau of Past Management.
Our assessors help our juries to evaluate the German-language submissions we receive.
Steph Morris has been a regular at NBG editorial meetings for ten years.
He is a writer and translator, see steph-morris.com.
Books in German I’ve recently enjoyed include Kristof Magnusson’s Ein Mann der Kunst, a tale of art-world excesses, and Manja Präkels’ Als ich mit Hitler Schnappskirschen aß, about small-town far-right terror in post-wall East Germany.
Some NBG choices not yet taken up, which I really think would work well in English and would love to translate include: Julia Weber Immer ist alles schön, Christoph Hein Verwirrniss and Ilsa Barea-Kulcsar, Telefónica.
Jamie Lee Searle
Jamie Lee Searle is a translator from German and Portuguese. She is a co-founder of the Emerging Translators Network and has read books for New Books in German since 2007. Her latest translations include Urs Faes’ Twelve Nights (Harvill Secker, 2020) and Anna Kim’s The Great Homecoming (Granta, 2020).
Looking forward to reading: An Inventory of Losses by Judith Schalansky, translated by Jackie Smith, is high on my TBR list, as is Daughters by Lucy Fricke, translated by Sinead Crowe and published by the exciting new imprint V&Q Books, launched by Katy Derbyshire.
A book I’d like to translate: Die Goldene Stadt by Sabrina Janesch, a spellbinding fictionalized account of the life of 19th century German explorer Augusto R. Berns and his adventures in Peru – a vibrant, wonderful story that’s held me in its grip since I first read it a few years ago.
Caroline Waight is an award-winning literary translator working from German and Danish. She has translated a wide range of fiction and non-fiction, with recent publications including The Chestnut Man (Penguin, 2019), Agatha (Sceptre, 2019) and Island (Pushkin Press, 2021). She lives and works near London.
The last translations I have read: Limonov by Emmanuel Carrère (tr. John Lambert). I read The Kingdom before that (same translator), and if I spoke French I’d probably read everything else Carrère has written too. I’m mildly obsessed.
Looking forward to reading: Jana Scheerer, Das Meer in meinem Zimmer. I’ve just translated another book about the North Sea coast, so this one immediately piqued my interest.
Shaun Whiteside is a translator from German, French, Italian and Dutch. His most recent translations from German include To Die in Spring by Ralf Rothmann and Time of the Magicians by Wolfram Eilenberger. He lives in London.
New Books in German juries
Our juries meet twice a year to consider each book submitted by German-language publishers. We are supported in this work by research done by a small team of book assessors.
Core members of the UK jury are:
- David Kilian Beck, Head of Culture, Embassy of Switzerland
- Jamie Bulloch, Translator
- Sarah Harrington Hemens, Director, New Books in German
- Tanja Howarth, Tanja Howarth Literary Agency
- Annemarie Goodridge, Information Officer, Goethe Institut London
- Sheridan Marshall, Editorial Consultant, New Books in German
- Alexandra Wachek, Music, Theatre & Literature Project Manager, Austrian Cultural Forum London
At each meeting we invite additional jury members drawn from UK editors, literary scouts, booksellers, and translators.
- Cecile Barendsma, CB Literary Agency
- Peter Blackstock, Grove Atlantic
- Shelley Frisch,Translator
- Markus Hoffmann, Regal Hoffmann & Associates
- Tess Lewis, Translator
- Barbara Perlmutter, consultant, formerly S. Fischer Verlag
- Walter Schlect, Germanic Languages & Literatures and Comparative Literature Subject Librarian, Washington University in St Louis
- Bettina Schrewe, US Scout
- Karin Schulze, Abrams
- Riky Stock, Managing Director, NorthSouth Books
- Christine Swedowsky, World Editions
- Dean Whiteside, Goethe-Institut New York
Steering Committee & Funding
The Steering Committee guides the direction of our work and scrutinises management and finances.
- David Kilian Beck, Head of Culture, Embassy of Switzerland
- Waltraud Dennhardt-Herzog, Director, Austrian Cultural Forum
- Susanne Frane, Head of Section, Culture and Education, German Embassy London
- Tanja Howarth, Tanja Howarth Literary Agency
- Katharina von Ruckteschell-Katte, Director, Head of the London Office and the Northwestern Europe Region, Goethe-Institut
- Eva Stensrud, Literature Specialist (German), Pro Helvetia
- Robert Stocker, Head of literature and publishing, libraries, Federal Ministry for Art, Culture, Public Service and Sport, The Austrian Federal Government
- Niki Théron, International Programmes Manager and Lars Birken-Bertsch, Director Strategic Project Development, Cooperation & Programme, Frankfurt Book Fair
New Books in German is very grateful for the financial and / or in-kind support it receives from the following organisations:
- the Austrian Cultural Forum London
- the Austrian Federal Ministry for Art, Culture, Public Service and Sport
- the Austrian Federal Ministry for European and International Affairs
- the Frankfurt Book Fair
- the German Embassy in the UK
- the Goethe-Institut London
- the Swiss Arts Council Pro Helvetia
- the Embassy of Switzerland in the UK
Once a book has been recommended on the site, we ask the German publisher of the book to pay a fee. These fees total around a fifth of our overall income and go towards running the submissions process, adjudicating and profiling the books.
We generally take interns on twice a year, one for the Spring selection round (recruited in October each year) and one for the Autumn selection round (recruited in April each year).
We are not currently recruiting for interns. Please do not send speculative applications as we are unable to keep these on file.
Read more about the role and how to apply.
Equality, diversity and inclusion: statement of intent
New Books in German is committed to encouraging equality, diversity, and inclusion in our work, and to eliminating unlawful discrimination.
We aim to promote a culture that recognises that people from different backgrounds and experiences can bring valuable insights to the project and enhance the way we work.
During 2021 we will be thinking more about what this means across all areas of our work. We will publish any further information here.