For German Lit Month, a few considerations…

Peirene Press (You Would Have Missed Me is shortlisted for the Oxford-Weidenfeld Translation Prize)

Why Peirene chose to publish this book:

Today, as in the past, people flee from one country to another in the hope of finding a better future. But how do children experience such displacement? How do they cope with traumas of a refugee camp? In this novel Birgit Vanderbeke goes back to her own childhood in the divided Germany of the 1960s. She shows how the little girl she once was saved herself by imagining countries on the far side of the world. A masterpiece of memory turned into fiction. 

Written by Birgit Vanderbeke
Translated from the German by Jamie Bulloch

An unnamed narrator, recently bereaved, travels to Olevano, a small village south-east of Rome. It is winter, and from her temporary residence on a hill between village and cemetery, she embarks on walks and outings, exploring the banal and the sublime with equal dedication and intensity. Seeing, describing, naming the world around her is her way of redefining her place within it. Written in a rich and poetic style, Grove is an exquisite novel of grief, love and landscapes.


Esther Kinsky

Translated by Caroline Schmidt

Published 15 April 2020
French paperback with flaps, 280 pages

A kaleidoscopic family saga told through the fractured lives of the three Moreau siblings, alongside a faltering, recovering love story, The End of Loneliness is a stunning meditation on the power of our memories, of what can be lost and what can never be let go. With inimitable compassion and luminous, affecting praise, Benedict Wells contends with what it means to find a way through life, while never giving up hope you will find someone to go with you.

Written by Benedict Wells, translated from the German by Charlotte Collins

I read the introduction to German Literature Month 10 on Beauty Is A Sleeping Cat , where Caroline not only extends an invitation but outlines a few authors chosen to focus on in November (should you wish). This is always an event I appreciate very much, as it widens my knowledge of German literature greatly. Perhaps you will join us this month as well?

13 thoughts on “For German Lit Month, a few considerations…”

  1. These sound like some interesting books, especially interested in the Peirene book but that’s partially down to having read great. books from them before.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Oh, Gary, it’s so good to hear from you! I have deactivated my Facebook and Instagram accounts with all the political hullabaloo these days. I was finding myself getting upset, and focusing on the wrong things, it now I find myself rather out of touch with many of my blogging friends.

      Peirene has published such marvelous books, as you pointed out, and I will never forget the power of The Mussel Feast. That is largely why I am choosing Brigit Vanderbeke’s other novel now.

      I miss reading with you, my friend.


      1. Hi I had wondered why I hadn’t seen much from you via social media, definitely can understand the reasoning as I often find myself feeling the same especially in my own country. Although whilst riding around I think hmm have I sent a picture of that church to Meredith & that brings a smile & I guess some form of connection & reminder of gentler kinder times 😊


  2. Thank you so much for joining and writing about our event. Wells is high on my TBR. But so is Grove. Very different authors. I read a kitty if Vanderbeke’s books and liked them all. I don’t think I’ve read this one though. But since it’s a Pereine title it should be very good.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. If it were not for you, or Lizzy there is not much I would know about German literature. But, I have so loved Buddenbrooks by Thomas Mann, and world by Stefan Zweig, and Birgit Vanderbeke. I am looking forward to discovering Esther Kinsey’s work, having a special affinity for both rivers and groves. 😉 Thank you, to you and Lizzy both, for continuing to host this event.

      Liked by 1 person

    1. So glad these books look interesting to you. I can’t recommend Venderbeke enough. Her book, The Mussel Feast, was so powerful (and short, if you are reluctant to embark on a hefty tome)! Also, if you have not read Jenny Erpenbeck, I highly recommend her work, too, especially The End of Days.


  3. I’m hoping to read at least one book this month for German Lit month so I appreciate these recommendations! I haven’t heard fo these authors and these do sound interesting. Hope you read some great books!

    Liked by 1 person

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