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, short stories, poetry and dramatic arts.

Fiction

One Grand Summer by Ewald Arenz

Translated by Rachel Ward

Orenda Books , July 2024

A number-one bestseller in Germany and winner of the German Booksellers Prize, One Grand Summer is a moving, beautiful and profound novel about relationships and respect that captures those exquisite and painful moments that make us who we are…

Split: A Novel by Alida Bremer

Translated by Ruth Ahmedzai Kemp

Amazon Crossing, January 2024

It’s 1936. The seaside-resort village of Split on the Adriatic coast bustles. The tourist spots are booming, passenger steamers dot the harbor, and Jewish émigrés have found tenuous refuge from persecution. But as war in Europe looms, Split is also a nest of spies, fascists, and smugglers―and now, a locale suspiciously scouted by a German Reich film crew. Then one summer morning it becomes the scene of a murder investigation when a corpse is found entangled in fishing nets in the port.

With so many suspects from all walks of life and with a myriad of motives at a time when tensions are boiling over, crime superintendent Mario Bulat has only rumors to follow. War is coming, and for some in Split, it’s already here.

The Door-To-Door Bookstore by Carsten Henn
Translated by Melody Shaw
Hanover Square (US) July 2023, Manilla Press (UK) November 2023

Carl may be 72 years old, but he’s young at heart. Every night he goes door-to-door delivering books by hand to his loyal customers. He knows their every desire and preference, carefully selecting the perfect story for each person.

One evening as he makes his rounds, nine-year-old Schascha appears. Loud and precocious, she insists on accompanying him – and even tries to teach him a thing or two about books.

The book is a heart-warming tale of the value of friendship, the magic of reading, and the power of books to unite us all.

The Fire – Daniela Krien

Translated by Jamie Bulloch

MacLehose Press, June 2023

Longlisted for the Dublin Literary Award 2024

Quietly devastating

The Observer

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?

A stylish, subtle read that digs deeps into the human psyche

Woman & Home

Darkenbloom by Eva Menasse

Translated by Charlotte Collins

Scribe, November 2024

Read our original recommendation here

Darkenbloom is a sweeping novel of exiled counts, Nazis-turned-Soviet-enforcers, secret marriages, mislabelled graves, remembrance, guilt, and the devastating power of silence, by one of Austria’s most significant contemporary writers.

‘Darkenbloom stirs up, saddens, pulls you along — especially through its characters and is undoubtedly one of the most important books of this fall. Great.’

NDR

Ada’s Realm by Sharon Dodua Otoo

Translated by Jon Cho-Polizzi

MacLehose Press, April 2023

Longlisted for the Dublin Literary Award 2024

Read our original recommendation here.

An impressive and highly original work, brimming over with energy

TLS

Ada is not one woman, but many, and she is all women – she revolves in orbits, looping from one century and from one place to the next. She experiences the hardship but also the joy of womanhood, and she fights for her independence. Sharon Dodua Otoo writes with deep empathy and humour, with vivid language and infinite imagination.

Brothers and Ghosts by Khuê Phạm

Translated by Daryl Lindsey, Charles Hawley

Scribe Books, July 2024

Read our original recommendation here.

A young woman, torn between two cultures, belonging to neither. A family, torn apart by a war they had no choice about.

Kiều, who calls herself Kim because it’s easier for Europeans to pronounce, knows little about her Vietnamese family’s history until she receives a Facebook message from her estranged uncle Sơn in America, telling her that her grandmother, her father’s mother, is dying. The two brothers haven’t spoken since the end of the Vietnam War. Minh, Kiều’s father, supported the Vietcong, while Sơn sided with the Americans.

When Kiều and her parents travel to America to join the rest of the family in California for the funeral, questions relating to their past — to what has been suppressed — resurface and demand to be addressed.

A groundbreaking work in German literature, Phạm’s novel marks a seminal accomplishment that tells the dignified, thorough, and epic story of a Vietnamese family through clear, gem-like sentences and unflinching observations. With Phạm’s vision, nothing is left unturned and all things are salvaged and lost at once. A courageous and bold achievement by a bright new voice

Ocean Vuong

Winterberg’s Last Journey by Jaroslav Rudiš

Translated by Kris Best

Jantar Publishing, May 2024

Winterberg’s Last Journey follows its two main characters on an eclectic, tragicomic train journey through Central Europe. When Czech nurse Jan Kraus is charged with the care of 99-year-old Wenzel Winterberg, a Sudetenland German expelled from his Bohemian homeland after the Second World War, he believes that their time together is limited. But Kraus is then dragged along by Winterberg on a winding train journey from Berlin to Sarajevo, all the while dealing with Winterberg’s regular ‘historical fits’.

The author, Jaroslav Rudiš, is one of the most notable writers in the contemporary Czech Republic. Winterberg’s Last Journey was his first novel to be originally written in German. In 2021, Rudiš received Germany’s Order of Merit from President Frank-Walter Steinmeier. This is the first translation of any of Rudiš’ books, Czech or German, into English.

The Granddaughter by Bernhard Schlink

Translated by Charlotte Collins

W & N, October 2024

In search of love and freedom, Birgit flees to Kaspar in West Berlin. It is only after her death that Kaspar discovers the price she paid to get there. He sets out to uncover her secrets in the East, meeting those she cared about, witnessing their oppression and determination first-hand.

His search leads him to a rural community of neo-Nazis, and to a young girl who comes to think of him as a grandfather. Their worlds could not be more different – but he is determined to fight for her. He, too, considers her a granddaughter.

Anyone who wants to understand contemporary Germany must read The Granddaughter now

Le Monde des Livres, Paris

Boy with a Black Rooster by Stefanie vor Schulte

Translated Alexandra Roesch

The Indigo Press, June 2024

Read our original recommendation here.

Can an eleven-year-old boy succeed where others have failed? Can he recover a kidnapped child, disprove a false accusation of assault or win a sleep-deprivation competition that has driven others mad with tragic consequences? 

Set against a pseudo-medieval post-apocalyptic backdrop reminiscent of Cormac McCarthy, Angela Carter and Missouri Williams, this bestselling novel shines with the inner radiance of good deed in a naughty world that will leave you haunted, horrified, and completely riveted.

Anywhere by Sarah Sprinz

Translated by Rachel Ward

Quercus Publishing, 23 November 2023

Discover the new, heart-pounding romance series that’s perfect for anyone who loves Hannah Grace, Elsie Silver and LJ Shen (content 18+).

Falling in love wasn’t on Emma’s agenda for her year abroad at Dunbridge Academy, the boarding school where her parents once met. Here she wants to find out where her father disappeared to when he left their family all those years ago.

But when she meets fellow student Henry, Emma knows she’s in trouble. Feelings grow between them, and Emma feels powerless to resist. But Henry has a girlfriend and Emma doesn’t want her heart broken . . .

Anyone by Sarah Sprinz

Translated by Rachel Ward

Quercus Publishing, July 2024

Lies, intrigue, friendship and first love – welcome to Dunbridge Academy

Charles Sinclair is Victoria Belhaven-Wynford’s best friend. Ever since primary school, he’s been the one Tori can confide in. The only thing she can’t tell him about is the pit in her stomach that just won’t fade since she started dating her crush, Valentine. Deep down, Tori suspects that whatever she has with Valentine, it’s nothing like what she feels for her best friend.

But her classmate Eleanor has claimed Sinclair’s attention, the Juliet to his Romeo in Dunbridge Academy’s annual theatrical performance. Not that Tori would mind. If she weren’t the one who’s supposed to write the script for the love story between the star-crossed lovers . . .

Brothers by Jackie Thomae

Translated by Ruth Ahmedzai Kemp

DAS Editions, February 2024

Click here for our interview with Jackie Thomae and Rith Ahmedzai Kemp.

A novel about family and masculinity, and the question of whether we shape our own destiny – or whether our background and character inevitably shape us.

In Brothers, we meet two German half-brothers navigating their manhood, reluctant to centralise the colour of their skin as a way of defining how they see themselves and the decisions they make.

Beware of Pity by Stefan Zweig

Translated by Jonathan Katz

Penguin Classics, February 2024

Beware of Pity is Stefan Zweig’s greatest novel, fiercely capturing human emotions in all their subtleties and extremes – while Hofmiller, his unforgettable, naïve creation, misunderstands everything, resulting in his downfall.

The most exciting book I have ever read … a feverish, fascinating novel

Antony Beevor, Sunday Telegraph

Nonfiction

Concerning the Spiritual in Art by Wassily Kandinsky

Translated by Ruth Ahmedzai Kemp

Penguin Classics, May 2024

A seminal text in the history of modern art, from one of the most famous artists of the twentieth century

In Concerning the Spiritual in Art Wassily Kandinsky, one of the most famous abstract painters of all time, urges the reader to free themselves from art’s traditional bonds to material reality. In this radical theoretical work, he calls for a spiritual revolution in painting, arguing that artists, much like musicians, should be allowed to express their own inner lives in abstract, non-material terms. A significant contribution to the understanding of non-objectivism in art, this book serves as an important landmark in modern art history and is necessary reading for every artist and art-lover.

The Number on Your Forearm Is Blue Like Your Eyes: A Memoir by Eva Umlauf with Stefanie Oswalt
Translated by Shelley Frisch

co-publication of Mandel Vilar Press and Dryad Press, May 2024

Having achieved prominence in her career, Eva Umlauf was determined to find out what had happened to her and her family in Auschwitz and afterward. With the assistance of journalist Stefanie Oswalt, Eva conducted interviews and immersed herself in witness reports and archival histories. In 2016, her memoir, Die Nummer auf deinem Unterarm ist blau wie deine Augen: Erinnerungenwas published by Hoffmann und Campe Verlag. The German edition has now been beautifully translated into English by Shelley Frisch. Eva’s memoir concludes with a moving afterword by her bi-racial American granddaughter, Naomi Umlauf.

Among the accounts of people who survived the Holocaust, Eva Umlauf‘s is a most remarkable one. When just under two she had a number tattooed on her arm and against all odds survived to tell her tale.”

Dr. Anita Lasker-Wallfisch, last surviving member of the Women’s Orchestra of Auschwitz

Hitler’s Personal Prisoner. The Life of Martin Niemöller by Benjamin Ziemann
Translated by Christine Brocks
Oxford University Press, December 2023

This is the first fully researched biography of Martin Niemöller (1892-1984). The book charts Niemöller’s contribution to ecumenism, anti-nuclear pacifism, and his role in rebuilding the West German Protestant Churches.
From 1938 to 1945, Niemöller was detained as ‘Hitler’s Personal Prisoner’ in Nazi concentration camps. Liberated in April 1945, Niemöller was widely hailed as an icon of Christian resistance against the Nazi dictatorship.

For many years, the Niemöller legend masked the problematic aspects of his life: his persistent antisemitism, on display even in the post-war period; his nationalism and support of the German war effort even whilst in concentration camp detention; and his disdain for parliamentary democracy. Author Benjamin Ziemann uncovers the ‘historical’ Niemöller behind the legend of the resistance hero. Carefully situating Niemöller’s personal trajectory in his wider social milieu, Ziemann probes into core themes of twentieth century German history: militarism, National Socialism, German guilt, and moral reconstruction post-1945.

Crime and thriller

The White Circle by Oliver Bottini

Translated by Jamie Bulloch

MacLehose Press, June 2024

Bottini is one of the most sophisticated crime writers of our times

Joan Smith, Sunday Times

The sixth and final instalment of Bottini’s acclaimed Black Forest Investigations brings the series to a shattering close.

Louise Bonì, Chief Inspector of the Freiburg criminal police, gets intelligence from an informer that two guns have been bought from a Russian criminal network. Before long she identifies the vehicle used to collect the weapons, but the car’s owner has a watertight alibi. The man driving that night was Ricky Janisch, a neo-Nazi and member of the extreme right-wing group, the Southwest Brigade.

Bonì and her team put Janisch under surveillance, and identify others belonging to the extreme right. The further they probe, the more shocking their discoveries. Could this be part of a much more powerful neo-Nazi network which will stop at nothing? And how will they prevent an attack when the perpetrators are always a step ahead and they don’t know the target? By the time Bonì pinpoints the victim, it may already be too late . . .

The Kitchen by Simone Bucholz

Translated by Rachel Ward

Orenda Books, Aprl 2024

Hamburg State Prosecutor Chastity Riley and her colleagues investigate the murders of men with a history of abuse towards women … as a startling, horrifying series of revelations emerge.

When neatly packed male body parts wash up by the River Elbe, Hamburg State Prosecutor Chastity Riley and her colleagues begin a perplexing investigation.

What Mother Won’t Tell Me by Ivar Leon Menger
Translated by Jamie Bulloch
Poisoned Pen Press, January 2024

What Mother Won’t Tell Me is a taut, Nordic thriller with a folk tale twist about a young girl raised in strict isolation, protected from the cruel people in the outside world, who soon realizes the most dangerous strangers are the ones in the bedroom across the hall…

An intoxicating [thriller], well worth the sleep you will lose as you read ‘just one more chapter

Clémence Michallon, internationally bestselling author of The Quiet Tenant

Kalmann and the Sleeping Mountain by Joachim B. Schmidt

Translated by Jamie Lee Searle

Bitter Lemon Press, July 2024

Kalmann is back! But he’s already in trouble; in an interrogation room at the FBI headquarters in Washington, no less. All he wanted to do was visit his American father, but the loveable sheriff of Raufarhöfn got himself mixed up in the January 2021 Capitol riots. Thanks to sympathetic FBI agent Dakota Leen, he’s soon on a plane home. But not before she informs him that his grandfather was on a blacklist, suspected of spying for the Russians during the Cold War.

Back in Iceland, there’s a murder and one heck of a mystery to unravel. And what role does a mysterious mountain play in all this? Somehow Kalmann never loses heart. There’s no need to worry; he has everything under
control.

Graphic novel

Milk Without Honey by Hanna Harms

Translated by Ruth Ahmedzai Kemp

Flint, an imprint of The History Press, March 2024

We could live in a paradise where insects, especially bees, pollinate fragrant oceans of flowers whose fruits we harvest. Instead, patio wastelands and utilitarian lawns are now displacing flower gardens, and agriculture is dominated by monocultures. Pesticides and climate change are also causing insect mortality, with dramatic consequences for the global ecosystem. If this carries on unchecked, honey will be just one of the many foodstuffs no longer available to us – unless we learn to honour our innate connection with nature before it’s too late.

Bibi & Miyu, volume 3 by Olivia Vieweg

Translated by Nanette McGuinness

TOKYOPOP, Jan 2023

A manga comic for middle grade readers.

When a new student from Japan shows up at Bibi Blocksberg’s school, she fits in immediately. But Bibi’s suspicious; she knows Miyu’s hiding something, and she’s determined to find out what! Bibi’s journey takes her all the way to Japan, and while learning about all the new rules and magic in this foreign land, she realizes that maybe she and Miyu can be friends after all!

Rude Girl – Birgit Weyhe

Translated by Priscila Layne

V&Q Books, April 2024

Read our interview with Priscilla Layne here.

The white German graphic novelist Birgit Weyhe teaches at a US college through an academic exchange programme. At a conference, she is accused of cultural appropriation. Is she exploiting her privileges as a white writer when she tells stories about Black people?
She meets Priscilla Layne, an African American professor of
German studies with Caribbean roots. Growing up, Priscilla is labelled an ‘Oreo’: too white for her Black classmates, and too Black for the white kids. Rebelling against everything and everyone all at once, she joins the skinhead movement and becomes a rude girl, discovering a community where she feels valued. Her life and identity are a complex composite.
But how should Birgit Weyhe tell a life story like Priscilla’s?
What mistakes does she need to avoid? The act of storytelling itself becomes its own narrative layer in this unique graphic biography.

Children and YA

Sounds Good! by Hans Könnecke and Ole Könnecke

Translated by Melody Shaw

Gecko Press, March 2024

What does a double bass or a sitar sound like? What’s the difference between bongos and congas? Which instrument has only one note? Which one takes just 30 seconds to learn? What do these instruments really sound like?

This book engagingly presents 50 common and uncommon musical instruments with practical and curious facts that will spark interest in music of all kinds. Each instrument features a piece of music composed by an award-winning musician, accessed via QR code.

“An incredible resource for teachers and caregivers alike eager to find a child-friendly introduction to sound and music history.” Kirkus Reviews

The Picture Visitors: A Case for the Van Gogh Agency, by Christina Wolff

Translated by Claire Storey

Arctis Books, April 2024

Vincent Fox has a unique talent: he can dive into paintings and move around inside them to explore the world in which the painting takes place! Apart from his mother and grandfather only the director of the National Gallery in London knows about it, and she allows him to jump into the paintings hanging in the museum. When the painting The Storm is stolen from a London mansion, Vincent decides to track it down. In the course of his search, to his great surprise, he comes across Holly, who can jump into paintings just like him! Vincent sets Holly a challenge: Whoever finds The Storm first wins! But the search turns out to be more difficult than he thought, and strange things are happening inside Van Gogh’s The Starry Night. The color seems to be disappearing from the painting, turning the luminescent sky gray. What could this possibly mean?

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.


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.

Photo by Seven Shooter on Unsplash


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, short stories, poetry and dramatic arts.

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