German must-reads

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Discover captivating German-language literature in this video compilation of the best books.

Literary criticism on the net

Book blogs are well-established in the world of literature, but they are almost as diverse as the programmes of the German publishers. A selection of fascinating German literature blogs.

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Jurek Becker: ‘Jakob the Liar’

Hope as the elixir of life: Jurek Becker's novel about the life of Jews in a ghetto in Nazi-occupied Poland is gripping and melancholic, but also full of humor. It's a story of the Holocaust, but also much, more more.

Günter Grass: ‘The Tin Drum’

A novel that had the impact of a bomb. World War II and the history of the century from the perspective of a small man — and a reckoning with Germany as it rebuilt itself during the 1950s.

Clemens Meyer: ‘Bricks and Mortar’

A novel set in a Leipzig red light district filled with prostitution and drugs following the fall of the communist regime, it reveals how the sex trade became a booming industry in the former East Germany.

Terezia Mora: ‘Day In Day Out’

Mora is an astute observer of the world. Spotlighting the modern-day feelings of being uprooted and adrift, she is particularly fascinated by eccentric and mysterious men who live on the edge of society.

Peter Schneider: ‘The Wall Jumper’

Peter Schneider wrote "The Wall Jumper" in 1982. Looking back, it almost seems prophetic, yet it is also a historical reflection. It also remains a text about German-German sensitivities in a nearly forgotten time.

W.G. Sebald: ‘Austerlitz’

A Jewish scholar crisscrosses Europe as he searches for his forgotten past, with the journey taking him to the edge of his limits. The book is considered one of the most important works of post-WWII literature.

Uwe Tellkamp: ‘The Tower’

Winner of the German Book Prize, translated into many languages: Uwe Tellkamp's monumental work revives a vanished world in Dresden's bourgeoisie during the late GDR period, offering a major novel about society.

Juli Zeh: ‘The Method’

Does a legal system become questionable if it claims infallibility? To what extent may the state — with the best of intentions — restrict individual freedom? Juli Zeh's philosophical novella asks quite topical questions.