Books in German

As a former student and teacher of German at school, in adult education and at the University of Sheffield Modern Languages Teaching Centre, I have been reading German literature for some time. I have the good fortune to have German friends who are readers and have spent many a happy hour browsing through the Meyersche Buchhandlungen in Bochum and Stuttgart or Dussmann in Berlin. More recently with German speaking friends and colleagues we have set up  a German reading group in Sheffield which is going from strength to strength; we meet every two months, formerly in one another’s houses, now in a café, no discuss a book, usually a novel, in German. This is what we have tackled so far, mostly contemporary literature but by common consent we did go back to Effi Briest, which had a mixed reception- I loved it but we all felt let down by the ending. Thank goodness for the new film version with Julia Jentsch! Yes and other recommendations come out of the group, including films – there is a new film version of ‘die Wand’ with Martina Gedeck, which conveys fantastically well the atmosphere of this unusual and unique book, a feminist ‘Knüller’ of the 60s so I’m told…………. And of course we have been able to mark developments in the German literary world, such as the death of Günter Grass earlier this year, by reading his ‘Im Krebsgang/ Crabwalk’ and the German novelist Jenny Erpenbeck winning the Independent Foreign Fiction Prize 2015 with ‘Aller Tage Abend/ The End of Days’.

Die Wand- Marlene Haushofer – see review

Tschick- Wolfgang Herrndorf- see review

Die Herrlichkeit des Lebens-Michael Kumpfmüller- see review

Alle Tage Abend-Jenny Erpenbeck- see review

Das Muschelessen- Birgit Vanderbeke- see review

Der Tod in Venedig- Thomas Mann

Rücken an Rücken – Julia Franck

Die Vermessung der Welt- Daniel Kehlmann

Effi Briest- Theodor Fontane

In Zeiten des abnehmenden Lichts- Eugen Ruge

Sommerlügen- Bernhard Schlink

Der alte König in seinem Exil- Arno Geiger

F by Daniel Kehlmann- see review

1913- der Sommer des Jahrhunderts- see review

Im Krebsgang- Günter Grass-see review

Tigermilch- Stephanie de Velasco- see review



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