German Literature Month 2023

November is fast approaching, which means time to start strategically planning my reading (because it’s German Literature Month, Novella November and maybe Nonfiction November – has there been an announcement about NFN yet?).

German Literature Month is hosted by Lizzy’s Literary Life (find the German Literature Month blog here – it’s a great source of inspiration if you’re looking for titles).

Ordinarily the only rule is that the book must be originally published in German but Lizzy has relaxed this for one week of the challenge to allow for authors whose native tongue was/is German, but who chose/choose to write in an adopted language*.

Lizzy has provided some prompts but I will probably read free-range, in an attempt to tackle the TBR stack and create some overlap with Novella November.

I’ll be choosing from the following –

Flights of Love by Bernhard Schlink
The End of Days by Jenny Erpenbeck
Go Went Gone by Jenny Erpenbeck
Beware of Pity by Stefan Zweig
Red Love by Maxim Leo
The Bureau of Past Management by Iris Hanika (NovNov23)
The German House by Annette Hess
Stella by Takis Würger (NovNov23)
Love in Five Acts by Daniela Krien
*Flotsam by Meike Ziervogel (NovNov23)
Love Novel by Ivana Sajko (NovNov23)

But I might also do a little bit of pre-challenge shopping from V&Q Books 🙂

25 responses

  1. Yes, this is THAT month when there’s Novellas in November, AusReadingMonth, NonFiction November and German Lit Month!
    I do have Stefan Zweig’s Chess (a novella) on the TBR, he was Austrian as you know, but it only has to be written in German, right?

    • Yes, only has to be written in German, so Zweig absolutely counts. I haven’t read Chess, so will check it out (I do have a collection of his shorter works – will have to check whether it’s included in that).

      • TBH at 116 pages it only just scrapes in as a novella (my definition = 100-200 pages) because it’s a small book, smaller than a Penguin paperback but a very nice hardback edition.

  2. I’m hoping to do NovNov, Beryl Bainbridge week and MARM in November, but I am wondering if I’ve got a short German novel I could squeeze in too!

    I’ve only read Beware of Pity and Love Novel from your list, I really liked both of them.

    If you need to go shopping for this challenge, well, that’s just a sacrifice you’ll have to make 😀

  3. For me, it’s always German book month. As I am living in Germany, I see new German books all the time and can’t resist. LOL

    I still have only read one of your books, The End of Days by Jenny Erpenbeck which I can highly recommend.

    If you are looking for more suggestions, you can always check my blog. 😉

    Good luck in choosing. Not an easy task.

  4. Update: I’ve just got my order from Readings (from Love Your Bookshop Day) and (yay!) my new German book is only 129 pages long so it’s ideal for #NovNov. Readings have a subsection of their catalogue menu for translations, and my eye caught Siblings by Brigitte Reimann. It’s interesting because it’s a classic of post war East German lit, published shortly after the border closed.
    As it happens I just rewatched Line of Separation and am re-watching the Weissensee Saga with a friend who comes for lunch once a week, so now I will have a book to go with the themes of these series!

    • I read a sample chapter of Siblings a few months ago and had ear-marked it for #NovNov and #GermanLit – thanks for the reminder! I’ll get it before the challenges start.
      I haven’t watched The Line of Separation (I know! What have I been doing?!) but love the Weissensee Saga. Have you watched the Ku’damm series (I think it;s still available on SBS Online)? It’s fantastic.

      • Ha yes, Ku’damm, I did see it.
        I’m so glad I’ve got the DVD of Weissensee, I notice new things every time I watch it. (Three times now, once by myself, then with The Spouse, and now with my friend).
        But it’s getting harder to source DVDs, everyone’s streaming and the shops have stopped selling them.

      • I have Weissensee on DVD but we now only have a small portable DVD player – it’s not ideal! I also have Ku’damm on DVD but it’s in German with no subtitles and my German isn’t that good! (I bought it because for awhile the first series wasn’t on SBS).

      • I bought another series on DVD at some stage and it was all in German (of course) but I could not ever figure out how to access the sub titles. So off it went to the op shop.
        Re-watching a series of a language you know is so good… I’ve watched A French Village over and over and I understand more and more of it without the subtitles.

      • Usually if it has subtitles, there’s a link in the menu. I’ve held onto my Ku’Damm DVDs and will rewatch (if you recall, it is very dialogue-heavy, so the first time I attempted to watch in German I had no idea! Now that I know the story, probably easier). I do often listen to audiobooks and podcasts in German – again, don’t understand 90% but I figure it keeps my ear open. I also find it strangely relaxing (if I can’t get to sleep, listening to an audiobook in German has me out like a light!).

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.