DE → EN – Enjoy in English

This regular page brings you a selection of German-language titles that have just been, or are soon to be, published in English. We cover fiction, crime, nonfiction, children's and YA and poetry.

Fiction

Grime – Sibylle Berg

Translated by Tim Mohr

St. Martin’s Griffin, December 2022

Grime spent 25 weeks on European bestseller lists and won the Swiss Book Prize.

“A book like an explosive device.” 

Die Zeit

The first English translation of iconic Swiss-German novelist Sibylle Berg—a ruthless indictment of contemporary society and a strikingly creative manifesto for rebellion.

In this stylistically innovative epic, acclaimed novelist Sibylle Berg addresses the question currently being debated around the world: where will climate change, artificial intelligence, the rise of right-wing populism, and the inexorable expansion of surveillance lead?

The Thankless Foreigner – Irena Brežná

Translated by Ruth Ahmedzai Kemp

Seagull Books, December 2022

A novel that offers a timely and important reflection on experiences of immigration and on defying the temptation to assimilate in a host country.

In 1968, in search of a better world, a young person flees her country and ends up in Switzerland, the land of hard cheese. There she’s told not to talk nonsense, or not to ‘talk cheese’, as they say in the local dialect. Home is where you can grumble, but here you have to be grateful. Her new environs seem unwieldy, aloof, and she rebels against this host country that insists on her following its rules, that won’t let her be herself. But as an interpreter, she meets many others who have ended up here—petty criminals, depressives, hustlers, refugees, victims of exploitation, and others who have gone out of their way to assimilate, people who share a hope that they can make something new of their lives.

Hinterland – Arno Geiger

Translated by Jamie Bulloch

Picador, August 2022

This book was a New Books in German jury choice, read our original recommendation here.

The year is 1944 and is recovering at Mondsee, a village and a lake below Drachenwand mountain, close to Salzburg in Austria. Here he meets Margot and Margarete, two young women who share his hope that sometime, sooner or later, life will begin again.

The war is lost but how long will it take before it finally comes to its end?

A great anti-war novel, in the middle of which a love story . . . develops, full of tenderness – as around it the world shatters . . . impressive, subtle book

Der Spiegel

My Soul Twin – Nino Haratischvili

Translated by Charlotte Collins

Scribe Publications, November 2022

For an interview with translator Charlotte Collins about translating the work of Nino Haratischvili, click here.

Eight years have passed since Stella last saw Ivo, but when he returns, the reunion of their unconventional family will change the course of her ordinary life. As children, Stella and Ivo grew close as their parents embarked on an affair that would shatter both families. Later, as teenagers, their own relationship would be the cause of further scandal. Now, as adults, they set out on an odyssey to uncover the truth about another family’s past, and to understand their own.

My Soul Twin is an intense love story about forbidden desire, the ties that bind us, and whether we can ever truly forget what we leave behind.

Last House Before the Mountain – Monika Helfer

Translated by Gillian Davidson

Bloomsbury, February 2023

Based on the internationally bestselling and award-winning Austrian novelist Monika Helfer’s own family history, Last House Before the Mountain is a propulsive, haunting, multi-layered saga about love, family, and the hidden wages of war.

The whole, biographically inspired family drama tells of the greatest feelings we have: Love, anger, envy and grief

Meike Schnitzler, Brigitte

Rombo – Esther Kinsky

Translated by Caroline Schmidt

Fitzcarraldo Editions, October 2022

In Rombo, Esther Kinsky’s sublime new novel, seven inhabitants of a remote mountain village talk about their lives, which have been deeply impacted by the earthquake that has left marks they are slowly learning to name. From the shared experience of fear and loss, the threads of individual memory soon unravel and become haunting and moving narratives of a deep trauma.

In Esther Kinsky, German literature has an author whose books are full of poetic intelligence. … A brilliant new novel.

Neue Zürcher Zeitung

The Fire – Daniela Krien

Translated by Jamie Bulloch

Quercus Publishing, June 2023

With plans adrift after a fire burns down their rented holiday cabin, Rahel and Peter find themselves unexpectedly on an isolated farm where Rahel spent many a happy childhood summer. Suddenly, after years of navigating careers, demanding children and the monotony of the daily routine, they find themselves unable to escape each other’s company. With three weeks stretching ahead, they must come to an understanding on whether they have a future together.
What happens when love grows older and passion has faded? When what divides us is greater than what brought us together? And how easy is it to ask the fundamental
questions about our relationships?

Ada’s Realm – Sharon Dodua Otoo

Translated by Jon Cho-Polizzi

Riverhead Books, March 2023

Set to be one of the best books of 2023 

GQ Magazine

This was a New Books in German jury choice, for our original recommendation see here.

A kaleidoscopic novel spanning generations and continents, that reveals the connections between four women in their struggle for survival.

As their interwoven narratives converge on a modern day Ada, a young Ghanaian woman who finds herself pregnant, alone, in Berlin, searching for a home before her baby arrives, their shared spirit will find a way to help her break the vicious cycle of injustice.

This novel is a feat of imagination and breaks down simplistic notions of history as a straight line; one woman’s experience matters to another’s 400 years later, on a different continent. In this deeply moving, at times mordantly funny, ultimately hopeful book, there is a connection between all those fighting for love, for family, for justice, for a home.

Siblings – Brigitte Reiman

Translated by Lucy Jones

Penguin Classics, February 2023

1960. The border between East and West Germany has closed.

For Elisabeth – a young painter – the GDR is her generation’s chance to build a glorious, egalitarian socialist future. For her brother Uli, it is a place of stricture and oppression. Separating them is the ever-wider chasm of the party line; over them loom the twin spectres of opportunity and fear, and the shadow of their defector brother Konrad. In prose as bold as a scarlet paint stroke, Brigitte Reimann battles with the clash of idealism and suppression, familial loyalty and desire. The result is this ground-breaking classic of post-war East German literature.

Identitti – Mithu Sanyal

Translated by Alta L. Price

V&Q Books, October 2022

This was a New Books in German jury choice, read our original recommendation here.

In her thought-provoking, genre-bending debut, Mithu Sanyal collages the commentary of real-life intellectuals, blogs, articles, race theory, academic warfare and coming-of-age drama. A darkly comedic tour de force, Identitti showcases the outsized power of social media in the current debates around identity politics and the power of claiming your own voice.

‘From the first page, I knew Sanyal was going to take me to filthy, funny, strange places. She didn’t disappoint. Buy the ticket and take the wild ride as Identitti tries to make sense of race, belonging and truth.’

Jarred McGinnis, author of The Coward
English language cover to come

Liminal – Roland Schimmelpfennig

Translated by Jamie Bulloch

Quercus, April 2023

This book was a New Books in German jury choice, read our original recommendation here.

A thrilling, filmic immersion into Berlin’s legendary club scene – a skillfully told novel about the fragility of life.
Berlin Görlitzer Park: The body of a young woman in a white wedding dress floats in the canal. Who is she, and where does she come from? Suspended drugs investigator Tommy trawls Berlin’s clubs and criminal clans to uncover the woman’s story.

A breathless noir novel that is as hard-hitting as it is emotional, exploring the fragility of life and our longing for community.

The Rebel and the Thief – Jan Philipp Sendker

Translated by Imogen Taylor

Other Press, November 2022

From the internationally bestselling author of The Art of Hearing Heartbeats, a moving tale of forbidden love and extraordinary courage in the face of disaster.

“An epic love story between two people against astronomical odds. Universal in scope, stunning, powerful, and radiant in execution. The fight that both Niri and Mary must undertake for their survival is inextricably woven into their fight for love. I fell hard for this pair of compassionate misfits. I was with them every step of the way.”

Weike Wang, author of Joan Is Okay

Provinces – Tabea Steiner

Translated by Jozef van der Voort

Strangers Press, April 2022

Seven enthralling essays by one of Switzerland’s most promising German-language writers are vivid, open-ended pieces that tackle a diverse array of subjects. From Heidi and her grandfather, through missionary work in Papua New Guinea in the 1980s, to a lockdown kestrel webcam diary, the essays draw entertaining links between the author’s own biography, the condition of contemporary Switzerland, and the wider world, and provide, in effect, a satisfyingly contextualising afterword for the series as a whole.

1000 Coils of Fear – Oliva Wenzel

Translated by Priscilla Layne

Dialogue Books, July 2022

This was a New Books in German jury selection, read our original recommendation here.

‘I have more privilege than any person in my family. And I’m still screwed.’

Heart-rending, opinionated, and wry, Olivia Wenzel’s remarkable debut novel is a clear-sighted investigation into origins and belonging, the roles society wants to force us into and why we need to resist them, and the freedoms and fears that being the odd one out brings.

So exuberant, inventive, brainy, sensitive and hilarious that it’s like a pyrotechnic flare illuminating the whole woman, past and present, radiant, unique, a voice and a novel to take with us into the future.’

Francisco Goldman, author of Monkey Boy

Crime and Thriller

Walk Me Home – Sebastian Fitzek

Translated by Jamie Bulloch

Head of Zeus, November 2022

The terrifying new psychological thriller by internationally bestselling phenomenon Sebastian Fitzek. Walk Me Home is Fitzek’s most enthralling work to date.

Jules has only been working for Walk Me Home telephone helpline service for a short time and has never had to deal with a truly life-threatening situation. But that all changes one Saturday night when Klara calls.

The young woman is terrified. She thinks she is being followed by a man. A man from her past. A man who drew a date in blood on her bedroom wall. And that day dawns in less than two hours…

Punishment by Ferdinand von Schirach

Translated by Kat Hall

Baskerville, August 2022

How do you decide what punishment fits the crime?

Our narrator is a man you’d never want to meet unless you really needed him. A nameless criminal defence lawyer, he coolly narrates the fate of twelve characters who cross his path. In spare, gripping prose, he tells their stories, uncovering the loneliness and alienation, desire and desperation which drive their choices and shape the consequences they face.

Drawn from Ferdinand von Schirach’s eminent career as a criminal defence lawyer, Punishment masterfully treads the line between fiction and truth, each meticulously crafted story crackling with white-knuckle suspense and vivid characters who stay with you long after the final page.

Nonfiction

In Search of Common Ground – Bastian Berbner

Translated by Carolin Sommer

The Experiment, October 2022

Berbner’s intensively reported and compelling accounts are interwoven with expert insight from Nobel Prize-winning economist Daniel Kahneman, psychologist Peter Coleman of Columbia University, and others. This uplifting book vividly shows that we can overcome prejudice and find common ground.

De-Integrate: A Jewish Survival Guide for the 21st Century by Max Czollek

Translated by Jon Cho-Polizzi

Restless Books, January 2023

A controversial, best-selling polemic in Germany, De-Integrate! is a battle cry against Jewish assimilation into a dominant culture that seeks to paint over the past—and a handbook for minorities on how to embrace their difference and resist rising nationalism, antisemitism, xenophobia, and racism.

Encounters with C.G. Jung -The Journal of Sabi Tauber (1951–1961) – Edited by Andreas Gerber & Irene Gerber

Translated by Marianne Tauber

Daimon Books, November 2021

This volume presents the journal notes of Sabi Tauber,
a young Swiss woman who recorded the experience
of her encounters with C.G. Jung. She conscientiously
noted Jung’s responses to her questions and his
comments on her dreams, mostly related to love,
the creative principle, and the shadow.

Tomorrow is Here: Speeches – Navid Kermani

Translated by Tony Crawford

Polity Books, September 2022

Navid Kermani is one of Germany’s most distinguished writers and public intellectuals and an outstanding public speaker. Whether he is speaking about the plight of refugees or delivering a eulogy at his father’s graveside, Kermani finds words that surprise his listeners, enlighten them, provoke them, disturb them or move them to tears.

As a German of Iranian descent whose parents settled in Germany, Kermani is particularly sensitive to the issues raised by migration and the perceived tensions between Islam and the West. His speeches are a powerful demonstration of how much we stand to gain by adhering to the values of openness, tolerance and mutual respect for the beliefs and practices of those from other cultures who live among us.

House Concert – Igor Levit, Florian Zinnecker

Translated by Shaun Whiteside

Polity, November 2022

This book was a New Books in German jury choice, read our recommendation here.

Igor Levit ranks among the greatest pianists of his generation, described by the New York Times as ‘one of the essential artists of our time’. But his influence reaches far beyond music: he uses his public platform to speak out against racism, antisemitism and all forms of intolerance and prejudice.

When the pandemic broke out and Levit was unable to give live concerts, he switched his piano recitals from concert halls to his living room and gained a huge international following.

English language cover to come

Literature & Politics: Selected Writings (2022) – Robert Musil (with Klaus Amann & Philip Payne)

Translated by Genese Grill

Contra Mundum Press, later in 2022

This book was a New Books in German jury choice, read our recommendation here.

Literature and Politics presents Robert Musil’s writings on the relationship between literature and politics from World War I through World War II and elucidates his personal struggle to bear witness during the Age of Totalitarianism. In essays, addresses, aphorisms, and unpublished notes on contemporary events, Musil charts the increasing dangers to artists and ethical thinkers of extreme ideological conscription, the subtle and not so subtle changes in public and political discourse, the epoch-making events and dire existential threats of his times.

Darkness Falling: The Strange Death of the Weimar Republic, 1930-33 – Peter Walther

Translated by Dr Peter Lewis

Head of Zeus, August 2022

This book was a New Books in German jury choice, read our recommendation here.

History at its very best – and a fabulous translation, too’

Graham Hurley

A masterly fusion of meticulously researched historical writing and vividly propulsive storytelling, Darkness Falling is a distinctive and enthralling account of Germany’s slide from democracy to dictatorship.

Clouds over Paris – The Wartime Notebooks of Felix Hartlaub – Felix Hartlaub

Translated by Simon Beattie

Pushkin Press, September 2022

A Hatchards Nonfiction Book of the Month

Read translator Simon Beattie’s blog entry for the book on the Hatchards website here.

Posted to Paris in 1940 to conduct archival research, Hartlaub recorded his impressions of the unfamiliar city in notebooks that document with unparalleled immediacy the daily realities of occupation. With a painter’s eye for detail, Hartlaub writes of the bustle of civilians and soldiers in cafés, of half-seen trysts during blackout hours and the sublime light of Paris in spring.

Appearing in English for the first time, Clouds Over Paris is a unique testament to the persistence of ordinary life through disaster.

Childrens and YA

Reckless IV: The Silver Tracks – Cornelia Funke

Translated by Oliver Latsch

Pushkin, October 2022

Jacob and Fox may not have found Jacob’s brother Will, but they have found something even more unexpected in the Mirrorworld: happiness. Just as they give up the search to enjoy their new life together, Will appears.

But now Jacob isn’t sure he can trust his own brother. Travelling with Jacob and Fox’s deadly enemies, Will is on his way to Nihon, beautiful land of sea serpents and samurai, talking forests and magnificent foxes, in pursuit of another magical Mirror. The pair can only follow.

Bramble Fox – Kathrin Tordasi

Translated by Cathrin Wirtz

Pushkin Press, November 2022

This thrilling fantasy adventure immerses young readers deep in the world of British myths and legends.

On a summer holiday in Wales, Portia and Ben find a mysterious door set in a bramble hedge in the middle of a forest. It is a portal to the Otherworld and should never be opened, but how are they supposed to know that? After all, the old stories about the wonders and dangers of the Otherworld have long been forgotten …


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.


Interview with Necati Öziri

The German Book Prize shortlisted author speaks to Sheridan Marshall about his novel Vatermal, writing for the stage and working as a dramaturge, and the political aspects of his writing.

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