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.

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, short stories, poetry and dramatic arts.

Fiction

At No Time – Ilse Aichinger

Translated by Steph Morris

Seagull Press, June 2023

Dramatic sketches full of surprising, unpredictable twists and turns from a major twentieth-century German-language author.
 
A member of the Gruppe 47 writers’ group which sought to renew German-language literature after World War II, Ilse Aichinger (1921–2016) achieved great acclaim as a writer of fiction, poetry, prose, and radio drama. The vignettes in At No Time each begin in recognizable situations, often set in Vienna or other Austrian cities, but immediately swerve into bizarre encounters, supernatural or fantastical situations. Precisely drawn yet disturbingly skewed, they are both naturalistic and disjointed, like the finest surrealist paintings. Created to be experienced on the page or on the radio rather than the stage, they echo the magic realism of her short stories. Even though they frequently take a dark turn, they remain full of humor, agility, and poetic freedom.

Sisters in Arms – Shida Bazyar

Translated by Ruth Martin

Scribe Publications, October 2023

This book was an NBG jury selection, read our original recommendation here.

An explosive feminist and anti-racist novel about the importance of friendship.

Hani, Kasih, and Saya have shared a deep friendship ever since they were kids. After years apart, the three young women meet again for a few days, to pick up where they left off. But regardless of what they have achieved, it becomes clear, again and again, that they can’t escape the racism that accompanies their daily lives: the glances, the chatter, the hatred, and the outright rightwing terror. But their friendship gives them stability. Until one dramatic night shakes everything up.

Sisters in Arms is a provocative, uncompromising, and moving novel about the extraordinary alliance between three young women and the only thing that makes a self-determined life possible in a society that doesn’t tolerate otherness: unconditional friendship.

An immersive and thought-provoking read with a strong plot and relatable characters, and which explores urgent contemporary questions around racism and sexism in society.

From our original recommendation

Milk Teeth – Helene Bukowski

Translated by Jen Calleja

Beautifully written in immersive, spare prose, Helene Bukowski’s debut novel is about what it means to be a mother at the end of the world, about living with the impacts of climate change and the way we view ‘outsiders’. Jen Calleja’s impressive translation is a moving rendition of this modern fairy-tale, where each moment witnessed, and every word uttered, is weighted with importance in the quiet, dying world of these characters living on the brink.

Dracula Park – Dana Grigorcea

Translated by Imogen Taylor

Sandstone Press, August 2023

This book was an NBG jury selection, read our original recommendation here.

In post-Communist Romania, on the border with Transylvania, the sleepy little town of B. is losing its young people to the West.

A young painter returned from Paris and her eccentric great-aunt seem unconcerned with the decline of the town, until a mutilated corpse is found in the family crypt of Prince Vlad the Impaler, better known as Dracula.

As the world’s attention turns to B., the mayor and his son take advantage and turn the town into a vampire-inspired theme park. Tourists flock, but beneath the surface ancient horrors live on.

This is a breathtaking, atmospheric tale of revenge, extremism and the longing for a strong leader, for a strict, cruel judge – like Dracula.

An Ordinary Youth – Walter Kempowski

Translated by Michael Lipkin

Granta, November 2023

From the author of the seminal All For Nothing, comes An Ordinary Youth: an astonishing autobiographical novel and a chilling exploration of how one family adjusted to life under the Nazis.

Growing up in Rostock, in the north of Germany, Walter has a comfortable upbringing. But, as the country rolls toward war, the attitudes of his teachers, peers and family begin to slide, and it isn’t long before the roar of falling bombs, charged silences and mounting intolerance begin to puncture Walter’s carefree youth.

Following the Kempowski family from the months before the outbreak of war through to the fall of Berlin, this is the story of an ordinary childhood in extraordinary times. Here, Walter’s academic struggle sits alongside his father’s conscription, while his brother’s love of jazz burgeons amid the destruction of the artillery barrages. And all the time, the horrors of Nazism loom in the peripheries – communicated in furtive looks or hushed conversations – running alongside the Kempowski family’s daily rituals and occasional scandals.

An immediate bestseller on first publication in Germany, An Ordinary Youth remains the best known of Walter Kempowski’s novels. Written in a richly layered choir of voices, referencing songs, advertisements, literature, films and political slogans of the time, it weaves an impressionistic, expansive and hugely evocative portrait of war-time Germany, and reveals the many forms that complicity can take.

The Book of Commentary / Unquiet Garden of the Soul- Alexander Kluge

Translated by Alexander Booth

Seagull Books, October 2023

A highly engaging exploration of existential questions, written in the midst of the Coronavirus pandemic.
 
The Book of Commentary / Unquiet Garden of the Soul confronts the reader with questions of existential meaning, questions rendered all the more potent by the backdrop of the Coronavirus pandemic: How fragile are we as human beings? How fragile are our societies? What is a “self,” an “I,”  a “community”? How are we to orient ourselves? And what, if any, role does commentary play? In a fashion that will be familiar to longtime admirers of Alexander Kluge, the book stretches both back in time to the medieval glossators of Bologna and forward into interstellar space with imagined travel to the moon Europa. Kluge’s characteristic brief, vignette-like prose passages are interspersed with images from his own film work and QR codes, forming a highly engaging, thoroughly contemporary read.

The Principles of Life on Black Friday – Chronicle of Emotions, Notebook 1 – Alexander Kluge
Translated by Richard Langston and Martin Chalmers

Seagull Books, June 2023

A highly readable and lighthearted, yet intellectual-stimulating exploration of the modern human condition.
 
This volume concerns itself with the question of time, from the description of a brief fragment passing by in a matter of minutes to stories of the unexpected stock-market crash of 1929, a once-in-a-century event that Europeans call ‘Black Friday’ because Wall Street’s collapse reached the Old World one day later. Through this exploration of time, Kluge ponders some fundamental questions not altered by the passing of time: What can I trust? How can I protect myself? What should I be afraid of? Our age today has achieved a new kind of obscurity. We’ve encountered a pandemic. We’ve witnessed the Capitol riots. We see before us inflation, war, and a burning planet. We gaze at the world with suspense. What we need in our lives is orientation—just like ships that navigate the high seas. We might just find that in Kluge’s vignettes and stories.

Overstaying – Ariane Koch
Translated by Damion Searls

Pushkin Press, April 2024

An isolated woman clashes with an enigmatic visitor in this funny, jagged parable about alienation, difference and hospitality.

An isolated young woman living in a small Swiss town decides to take in a mysterious stranger, known only as ‘the visitor’. His arrival introduces disturbance into her carefully sealed life, and the longer he stays, the more confounding he becomes. His joy causes her sadness, his sleep brings her insomnia, and she becomes convinced he is sneaking into her room, even eating her socks. As she tries to impose orders and regulations on her opaque visitor, the woman’s fantasies of power and control grow ever wilder.

Sly, wilful and full of slanted humour, Overstaying is a profound and uncanny exploration of hospitality, integration and the stranger within all of us.

No Storm, Just Weather – Judith Kuckart

Translated by Alexander Booth

Seagull Books, December 2023

An engaging exploration of romance focusing on disparate ages of lovers.

Sunday evening, Tegel Airport, Berlin: A woman strikes up a conversation with a man, Robert Storm, who is thirty-six years old and eighteen years her junior. He is on his way to Siberia and will return the following Saturday. She cannot wait . . .

In 1981 she came to West Berlin as an eighteen-year-old to study medicine and met Viktor, who was twice her age. Though he opened the world up to her, he remained closed himself. At the turn of the millennium and thirty-six, she meets Johann. He is thirty-six too. They try to make a life together, but their jobs aren’t the only things that are precarious. Saturday morning, Tegel Airport again: For six days, her everyday life and her memories have become entwined. Why are the men in her life always thirty-six? Is she still the person she remembers? Or, being someone who knows their way around the mind, is she in fact what she has forgotten?

The Freedom of Emma Herwegh – Dirk Kurbjuweit

Translated by Imogen Taylor

Text Publishing, November 2023

A gripping novel based on the life of the 19th-century revolutionary Emma Herwegh.

As the daughter of a well-regarded family, Emma Siegmund causes a scandal by marrying the revolutionary poet Georg Herwegh. Committed to the socialist cause, she becomes the only woman to join the armed troops that bring the revolution from France to Germany in 1848. But when Georg falls madly in love with Natalie, the wife of his comrade Alexander Herzen, Emma finds her ideals challenged, setting off a private battle of fidelity and betrayal.

In this compelling, intimate novel, Dirk Kurbjuweit tells the story of a woman who does not bow to the prejudices of her time. In doing so, he shows us just how relevant her struggles are to contemporary life—in her contradictions, her ambitions, and her quest for freedom and happiness.

I Was Jack Mortimer – Alexander Lernet-Holenia
Translated by Ignat Avsey

Pushkin Press, November 2023

A taxi-driver in 1930s Vienna impersonates a murder victim, and is dropped into a dangerous spiral.

A man climbs into Ferdinand Sponer’s cab, gives the name of a hotel, and before he reaches it has been murdered: shot through the throat. And though Sponer has so far committed no crime, he is drawn into the late Jack Mortimer’s life, and might not be able to escape its tangles and intrigues before it is too late…

Twice filmed, I Was Jack Mortimer is a tale of misappropriated identity as darkly captivating and twisting as the books of Patricia Highsmith.

The cast of this brilliant thriller … are pure Raymond Chandler … but the Viennese setting gives it an extra, stylish twist. It’s excellently written and fearsomely gripping’

Kate Saunders, The Times

Glorious People – Sasha Salzmann
Translated by Imogen Taylor

Pushkin Press, Februry 2024

What did the disintegration of the Soviet Union feel like for the people who lived through it? Award-winning writer Sasha Salzmann tells this story in a remarkable novel about two women in extraordinary times.

As a child, Lena longs to pick hazelnuts in the woods with her grandmother but is raised as a good socialist: sent to Pioneer summer camps where she’s taught to worship Lenin, and sing songs in praise of the glorious Soviet Union. But perestroika is coming, her corner of the USSR is now called Ukraine, and corruption and patronage are now the only ways to get ahead – to secure a place at university, an apartment, treatment for a sick baby.

For Tatjana, the shock of the new means the first McDonalds in the Soviet Union and certified foreign whisky, but no food in the shops; it means terrible choices about who to love. Eventually both women must decide whether to stay or to emigrate, but the trauma they carry is handed down to their daughters, struggling to make sense of their own identities. In a story that spans generations, Salzmann creates a vivid depiction of how the collapse of the Soviet Union reverberated through the lives of ordinary people. Engrossing and wide-reaching, rich in detail and unforgettable characters, Glorious People is a vivid feat of storytelling from a powerful talent.

Without Waking Up – Carolina Schutti
translated by Deirdre McMahon

Bullaun Press, October 2023

A memory trail of isolated images leads back to this night, arms that lift me out of the cot. Even though I must be too big for it already, I am unable to climb out on my own. Perhaps my mother didn’t want me getting up at night and roaming through the house unnoticed.

Raised in an unfamiliar country by her father’s taciturn aunt, Maja has brief moments of connection with her fading past such as through her childhood friendship with Marek, a Polish refugee with his own stories of love and loss in the face of war and displacement.

Sifting through memories, simple scenes nestled into one another like her own beloved wooden doll, the Matryoshka, Maja struggles to unearth her identity. She is marked by a lingering absence – of homeland, mother tongue, mother, warmth.

Schutti’s poetic, yet unadorned, account of dislocation invites an open-ended exploration of the relationship between language and identity.

Star 111 – Lutz Seiler

Translated by Tess Lewis

And Other Stories, September 2023

A prize-winning and bestselling novel (150,000+ copies in German) telling of the moment of idealism and upheaval after the Fall of the Berlin Wall.
November 1989. The Berlin Wall has just fallen when the East German couple Inge und Walter, following a secret dream they’ve harboured all their lives, set out for life in the West. Carl, their son, refuses to keep watch over the family home and instead heads to Berlin, where he lives in his father’s car until he is taken in by a group of squatters. Led by a shepherd and his goat, the pack of squatters sets up the first alternative bar in East Berlin and are involved in guerrilla occupations. And it’s with them that Carl, trained as a bricklayer, finds himself an initiate of anarchy, of love, and above all of poetry.

Brothers by Jackie Thomae (link to come)
Translated by Ruth Ahmedzai Kemp

DAS Editions, March 24 (pre orders October)

Winner of the English Pen Award

Two men. Two possibilities. Two lives. Jackie Thomae poses the question: how do we become the people we are? Mick, a suave philanderer lives his life in the passenger seat, free of commitments. And life treats him well – until he’s left by the girlfriend he’s cheated on for years. Gabriel, who never knew his parents, is free to follow the path of his choice, becoming a successful architect, a dyed-in-the wool Londoner, an engaged father. But then, in a mundane scenario, he loses it, and suddenly he’s an aggressor – a great fall for an eminent man. Brothers tells of two German men, born in the same year, with the same Senegalese father, from whom they inherit only his dark skin. The questions they ask themselves are the same. Their lives could not be more different.

About People – Juli Zeh

Translated by Alta L Price

World Editions, Ocober 2023

Everybody needs good neighbors

Fleeing stay-at-home orders in the big city, Dora and her dog move to the countryside to sit out the pandemic. She knows that Bracken, a village in the middle of nowhere, isn’t the idyll most city dwellers dream of, but she’s desperate for space and a change of scene. Just what is Dora really looking for? Distance from her boyfriend Robert, whose climate activism has crossed into obsession? Refuge from her inner turmoil? Clarity on how the whole world got so messed up? As Dora tries to keep her demons in check, unexpected things start happening all around her. Juli Zeh’s epic new novel explores our present predicaments, biases, weaknesses, and fears, but—above all—it reveals the strengths that come to light when we dare to be human.

“Zeh challenges readers to consider how complicit we are in our current political dilemmas.”

Los Angeles Times

Crime

The Murder of Anton Livius – Hansjörg Schneider
Translated by Astrid Freuler

Bitter Lemon Press, June 2023

The latest in the international crime series featuring Inspector Peter Hunkeler, to follow on from the success of prize-winning The Basel Killings and Silver Pebbles, selected by the FT as a thriller of the month.


Inspector Hunkeler is summoned back to Basel from his New Year holiday to unravel a gruesome killing in an allotment garden on the city’s outskirts. An old man has been shot in the head and found in his garden shed hanging from a butcher’s hook.

Hunkeler must deal not only with the quarrelsome tenants of the garden but with the challenges of investigating a murder that has taken place outside his jurisdiction, across the French border in Alsace. The clues lead to the Emmental in Berne, and then events from the last weeks of the Second World War in Alsace come to light, the wounds of which have never healed in the region.

Nonfiction and essays

Without Model -Theodor W. Adorno

Translated by Wieland Hoban

Seagull Books, June 2023

Essays by Adorno on art and cinema, available in English for the first time.
 
In Without Model, Theodor W. Adorno strikingly demonstrates the intellectual range for which he is known. Taking the premise of the title as his guiding principle, that artistic and philosophical thought must eschew preconceptions and instead adapt itself to its time, circumstances, and object, Adorno presents a series of essays reflecting on culture at different levels, from the details of individual products to the social conditions of their production. He shows his more nostalgic side in the childhood reminiscences of ‘Amorbach’, but also his acute sociocultural analysis on the central topic of the culture industry. He criticizes attempts to maintain tradition in music and visual art, arguing against a restorative approach by stressing the modernity and individuality of historical works in the context of their time. In all of these essays, available for the first time in English, Adorno displays the remarkable thinking of one both steeped in tradition and dedicated to seeing beyond it.

The Visionaries – Arendt, Beauvoir, Rand, Weil and the Salvation of Philosophy – Wolfram Eilenberger

Translated by Shaun Whiteside

Allen Lane, August 2023

The question Eilenberger sets out to answer in this ambitious, enthralling book: what use is philosophy in the middle of a war?

The Sunday Times

The year is 1933. Hannah Arendt escapes Berlin, seeking refuge among the stateless gathering in Paris. Simone de Beauvoir reimagines the dance between consciousness and the world outside in a Rouen café. Ayn Rand labours in Hollywood exile on the novel she believes destined to reignite the flame of liberty in her adoptive nation. Simone Weil, disenchanted with the revolution’s course in Russia, devotes her entire being to the plight of the oppressed. Over the next decade, one of the darkest in Europe’s history, these four philosophers will conceive in parallel ideas that would circle the globe in the second half of the century, reshaping it.

The Visionaries follows in its protagonists’ footsteps from Leningrad to New York, Spain at civil war to France under occupation, as each is uprooted by totalitarianism’s ascendence. It shows them facing the injustices, unfreedom and unfathomable violence of their time as women, refugees, activists, resistance fighters – but above all as thinkers. Wolfram Eilenberger expertly distils the radical philosophies each lived as well as created, showing the two to be part of the same story, all testament to the redemptive power of thought.

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

Translated by Simon Beattie

Pushkin Press, September 2022

New paperback of the acclaimed, sharply immediate diary written from the heart of Occupied Paris by a classic German writer.

The writer Felix Hartlaub died in obscurity at just 31, vanishing from Berlin in 1945. He left behind a small oeuvre of private writings from the Second World War: fragments and observations of life from the midst of catastrophe that, with their evocative power and precision, would make a permanent place for him in German letters.

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. Clouds Over Paris is a unique testament to the persistence of ordinary life through disaster.

Some Heads – Max Neumann and Hubertus Von Amelunxen

Translated by Tess Lewis

Seagull Books, October 2023

A beautifully produced volume featuring the work of a major German artist.

While a face may be considered a head, a head does not necessarily carry a face. Between 2015 and 2017, German artist Max Neuman, known for painting anonymous figures, drew a series of heads. Each head is a moment, each facing the viewer as if looking into a crowd, each distinguishable from the other. Who are they? May we call them portraits? Do they look back? Do they resemble spirits? Some Heads reproduces these haunting drawings along with an essay by cultural theorist and curator Hubertus von Amelunxen that questions the heads and faces while dwelling upon the effacement of individuality.

In Case of Loss – Lutz Seiler

Translated by Martyn Crucefix

And Other Stories, November 2023

In Case of Loss gathers the best of Lutz Seiler’s non-fiction from last twenty-five years, revealing his essays to be different to, but on a par with, his fiction and poetry. Seiler’s beautifully anecdotal and associative pieces throw fascinating light on literature and his background, not least the environmental and human catastrophe of the Soviet-era mining in the community he grew up in, ‘the tired villages . . . beneath which lay the ore, uranium.’ Other essays focus on poetry, including his discovery of poetry during his military service and pieces on German poets.

Providing a perfect welcome in to his work as a whole, In Case of Loss sees one of Europe’s most original writers speak with openness and clarity in essays full of insight, humanity and a poet’s attention to the importance of often overlooked objects and lives.

How The West Lost the Peace – Philipp Ther

Translated by Jessica Spengler

Polity Books, May 2023

When the Berlin Wall was stormed and the Soviet Union fell apart, the West and above all the United States looked like the sole victors of history. Three decades later, the spirit of triumph rings hollow. What went wrong?

In this sequel to his award-winning history of neoliberal Europe, the renowned historian Philipp Ther searches for an answer to this question. He argues that global capitalism created many losers, preparing the ground for the rise of right-wing populists and nationalists. He shows how the promise of prosperity and freedom did not catch on sufficiently in Eastern Europe despite material progress, and how the West lost Russia and alienated Turkey. Neoliberal capitalism also left the world poorly prepared to cope with Covid-19, and the pandemic further weakened the Western hegemony of the post-1989 period, which is now brutally contested by Russia’s war against Ukraine. The double punch of the pandemic and the biggest war in Europe since 1945 has brought to a close the age of transformation that was inaugurated by the end of the Cold War. 

The Culture of Stopping – Harald Welzer

Translated by Sharon Howe

Polity, May 2023

Our culture has no concept of stopping. We continue to build motorways and airports for a future in which cars and planes may no longer exist. We’re converting our planet from a natural one to an artificial one in which the quantity of man-made objects – houses, asphalt, cars, plastic, computers and so on – now exceeds the totality of living matter. And while biomass continues to decline due to deforestation and species extinction, the mass of man-made objects is growing faster than ever. We’re on a treadmill to disaster.

To get off this treadmill, argues Harald Welzer, we need to learn how to stop: as individuals and as societies, we need to stop doing what we’re doing and say ‘enough’.

Childrens and YA

Holly’s Secret – Book 3 of The Woodwalkers – Katja Brandis

Translated by Rachel Ward

Arctis Books, November 2023

Carag is back at school for a new semester. When a study trip takes him into town, he and his friends arrive just after an overnight bank robbery has been discovered, and there has been a series of mysterious burglaries in the area too. It seems impossible for a human to have committed them, so they wonder if a woodwalker is involved. Carag and his friends take it upon themselves to search for the burgular and also help Holly as she hides away. While helping Holly, they run across a wolf cub who has been left by its parents, and doesn’t know it’s a woodwalker!

Short stories

Animals – Eight Studies for Experts – Eva Menasse

Translated by Simon Pare

Seagull Books, January 2024

A collection of unique, profound, and witty stories that relate animals’ peculiarities to human attitudes.

Animals is a collection of short stories in which each story takes a peculiar item about animals that appears, like fables, to shine a spotlight on different aspects of human behavior—like caterpillars digging their own graves, sharks in need of artificial respiration, ducks that keep an eye out for hungry predators even in their sleep. It is a treat to watch Eva Menasse spin these observations into scenes of people battling their everyday anxieties and doubts. An old tyrant realizes that he is unable to prevent his wife’s worsening dementia from erasing his own past as it erases hers. A mother who tries to protect a Muslim child from hostile accusations finds that her own boundaries between good and evil begin to blur. A woman realizes how starkly her father’s traumatic past has shaped her quirky habits and deepest fears. Combining biting wit, mystery, and melancholy, these tales are the work of a masterful storyteller.

Poetry

Psyche Running Selected Poems, 2005–2022 -Durs Grünbein

Translated by Karen Leeder

Seagull Books, December 2023

A dazzling selection of more than one hundred poems that trace the development of Durs Grünbein’s work over the past two decades.

Born in Dresden in 1962, Durs Grünbein is the most significant and successful poet of his generation in Germany. Since 1988, when the then-twenty-five-year-old burst onto the scene with his poetry collection Grauzone morgens—a mordant reckoning with the East Germany he grew up in—Grünbein has published more than thirty books of poetry and prose, which have been translated into dozens of languages.

In 2005 the volume Ashes for Breakfast introduced Grünbein to English-language readers for the first time by sampling poetry from his first four collections. Psyche Running picks up where that volume left off and offers a selection of poems from his nine subsequent collections, which shows how Grünbein has developed from his ironic take on the classical into an elegiac exploration of history through dream fragments and poems with a haunting existential unease.

In a Cabin, in the Woods – Michael Krüger

Translated by Karen Leeder

Seagull Books, March 2024

A personal perspective on the challenges of living through a global pandemic.
When the COVID-19 pandemic hit, Michael Krüger was suffering from severe shingles and just beginning treatment for leukemia. Because his immune system was so compromised that even a cough would have knocked him flat, he had to stay away from people. He retired to a wooden house near Lake Starnberg in Germany, and from there he dispatched his poetic messages. Krüger’s meditations from quarantine were printed for many months in the magazine of the Süddeutsche Zeitung and met with an enthusiastic response. In a Cabin, in the Woods collects fifty tableaux of nature, images of the immediate surroundings of a restricted life that also look beyond the horizon. At the same time, these poems look inwards to explore transience, illness, and death. Humorous and melancholy, these are studies of the world made with the tiniest compass—meditations on nature and the nature of self that touch us all.

as mornings and mossgreen I. Step to the window – Friederike Mayröcker

Translated by Alexander Booth

Seagull Books, June 2023

Poetic prose meditations translated superbly into English.
 
Austrian poet Friederike Mayröcker is widely considered one of the most important European poets of the twentieth and twenty-first centuries. The last book of hers to be published during her lifetime, as mornings and mossgreen I. Step to the window is an elliptical and, if at times cryptic, deeply personal, playful, and highly poetic collection of experiences, memories, dreams, desires, fears, visions, observations, and peregrinations through landscapes both real and imagined. The volume bears witness to her unique late lyrical style of pyrotechnical cut-up. Among many others, her beloved Derrida, Duchamp, Hölderlin, and Jean-Paul all appear, almost like guides, as Mayröcker bravely makes her way through infirmity, old age, and loneliness, prolonging her time as a prolific writer as much as possible.

Change Your Life Essential Poems – Rainer Maria Rilke
Translated by Martyn Crucefix

Pushkin Press, March 2024

A new translation and deluxe edition of Rilke’s most essential poems, by acclaimed poet Martyn Crucefix.

Rainer Maria Rilke developed one of the most singular poetic styles of the twentieth century. Visionary yet always anchored in the real world, his poems give profound expression to fundamental questions of love and death, of the chaos of the modern world as well as the spiritual consolation of art and nature.
Change Your Life draws from across Rilke’s career to offer a comprehensive view of his most essential poetry, featuring major selections from the great Duino Elegies and Sonnets to Orpheus alongside less frequently anthologised work. In these dazzling new translations by acclaimed poet Martyn Crucefix, Rilke’s poems beguile with fresh insight and mystery.

Shining Sheep: Poems – Ulrike Almut Sandig

Translated by Karen Leeder

Seagull Books, September 2023

A collection of vital, melancholic, elemental, and vibrantly contemporary poems.

In the beginning, was the light, or was it the Lumières? In Ulrike Almut Sandig’s latest volume of poetry, it is only a leap from the creation of the world to the symphony of the Berlin metropolis. And there is a question holding out off the coast of Lampedusa: Can shining sheep be used as night storage for the dark hours, when we are overwhelmed with fears of God, of a gym teacher with a whistle, of mothers with eyes as black as coal? In devastating sequences, Sandig charts the reality of an abused child, victims of contemporary war, or a fourteenth-century Madonna. Full of humor, musicality, lightness, and rage, Shining Sheep is not just visual poetry—it has loops in your ear and filmic explosions of imagery for all your senses.

Click here for a review on the Poetry Foundation website.

Pitch & Glint – Lutz Seiler

Translated by Stefan Tobler

And Other Stories, September 2023

2023 Poetry Book Society Translation Choice

On its original publication in 2000, Pitch & Glint was widely hailed as a landmark in German poetry. Rooted in Seiler’s childhood home, an East German village brutally undermined by Soviet Russian uranium extraction, these propulsive poems are highly personal, porous, twisting, cadenced, cryptic and earthy, traversing the rural sidelines of European history with undeniable evocative force. The frailty of bodies, a nearness to materials and manual work, the unknowability of our parents’ suffering, and ultimately the loss of childhood innocence, all loom large in poems where sound comes first.

Dramatic Works

Save Yourself If You Can – Six Plays – Thomas Bernhard

Translated by Douglas Robertson

Seagull Books, December 2023

A collection of six Bernhard plays, all in English for the first time.

Save Yourself if You Can is a collection of six plays that span the entirety of Thomas Bernhard’s career as a dramatist. The plays collected in this long-awaited addition to Bernhard’s oeuvre in English—The Ignoramus and the MadmanThe CelebritiesImmanuel KantThe Goal AttainedSimply Complicated, and Elizabeth II—traverse somber lyricism and misanthropy to biting satire and glorious slapstick. They explore themes that will be familiar to longtime readers of Bernhard, but here they are presented in a subtly different register, attuned to the needs of the stage.


What’s coming soon? Click here to see which NBG jury choices are forthcoming in English in the next year or two.

Photo by Ioann-Mark Kuznietsov on Unsplash


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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