I had one eye on my existing TBR when choosing reading prompts for this year’s German Literature Month. My other eye kept searching for new things to add. It found plenty! The end result is a short(?)list for the month of 21 titles. (Not all of them recent purchases, I hasten to add.) Let’s take a look at how each ties in with the reading prompts.
Descriptions can be found in the links to Amazon (unless otherwise stated). They have the most extensive catalogue. I’m not an affiliated seller, so I’m not pushing you there to make money.
Week 1 – First time for everything (Books 1-4)
- The Bastard Factory – Chris Kraus (tr. Ruth Martin). This is Kraus’s third novel but the first to be translated into English.
- Short Stories – Hans Arnold (tr. Thirza Jay) Hans Arnold is the pen name of Clara von Bülow, a new-to-me author, and my first read from Aspal Press
- Broken Glass Park – Alina Bronsky (tr. Tim Mohr) Bronsky is one of my completist authors. Broken Glass Park was her literary debut.
- Punishment – Ferdinand von Schirach, (tr. Kat Hall). Another completist author, but the translator’s first full-length literary translation.
Week 2 – Second Helpings (Books 5-9)
All from authors I’ve read once, and want to read again
- My Soul Twin – Nino Haratischvili (tr. Charlotte Collins) (Also valid for week 1, as it was Haratischvili’s literary debut.)
- Song for The Missing – Pierre Jarawan (tr. Elisabeth Lauffer)
- The Missing – Dirk Kurbjuweit (tr. Imogen Taylor)
- It’s Over. Don’t Go There – Kathrin Schmidt (tr. Sue Vickerman)
- Three Women From Haiti – Anna Seghers (tr. Douglas Irving) Hardly visible in the picture, but it’s there!
Week 3 – Firm Favourites (Author or Publisher, if stated) (Books 10-15)
- Night Hunters – Oliver Bottini (tr. Jaimie Bulloch) Completist author
- Hinterland – Arno Geiger (tr. Jaimie Bulloch) Completist author
- The Lord Chandos Letter and Other Stories – Hugo von Hofmannsthal (tr. Joel Rothenburg) Published by NYRB Classics.
- Identitti – Mithu Sanyal (tr. Alta L Price) Published by V&Q Books
- Requiem for Ernst Jandl – Friederike Mäyrocker (tr. Rosyln Theobald) Published by Seagull Books
- Empty Hearts – Juli Zeh (tr. John Cullen) Completist author
Week 4 – Something Different (Books 16-20)
Creating a shortlist for this week was the hardest of them all. I was tempted by two full-length narrative poems (The Flying Mountain – Christoph Ransmayer (tr. Simon Pare) and Epic Annette – Anne Weber (tr. Tess Lewis). Or should I review two novels, read recently, that I really didn’t like. (They are not pictured.) Some graphic novels, maybe? Perhaps even something in German?
The decision was made for me by mystery book 16. An indulgent purchase, but I have been looking for a beautiful edition of this children’s classic for ages. And I did vote for the publisher to produce a special edition for their 75th anniversary. This makes week 4 (for me) Children and Young Adult Week, with the following options:
- The Neverending Story – Michael Ende (tr. Ralph Manheim) (Link to the Folio Society)
- Beyond The Blue Border – Dorit Linke (tr. Elizabeth Lauffer)
- Me, In Between – Julya Rabinowich (tr. Claire Storey)
- The Edelweiss Pirates – Dirk Reinhardt (tr. Rachel Ward)
- Bambi – Felix Salten (tr. Damion Searls) (Prime candidate for a book to movie post!)
Week 5: Read as you please / group read (Book 21)
- The Life and Opinions of Tomcat Murr – E T A Hoffmann (trans. Anthea Bell)
What Will I Actually Read?
Books 16 (Ende) and 21 (Hoffmann) for definite. More than that I can’t say. I’ve been incapable of sticking to reading lists this year. And while writing this, I’ve noticed that Switzerland is not represented above. I’ll need to sort that.
I’d like to cover 12 titles during GLM XII, but I have included a few 400+-page chunksters in the above list. Typically they are calling the loudest! We’ll just have to see what happens, but, with just under 3 weeks to go, it’s time for me to make a start.
Over to you
Are you going to participate in GLM XII? If so, what do you intend reading?