In this section, we focus on the local literary community and authors who are either from, have lived, or are currently residing in Berlin.
Berlin draws in creatives like moths to a flame, transforming those who spend time here. For decades this city has inspired, shocked, and challenged the lives of the artists who are drawn to its grey, chilling winters, vibrant subculture, and underground nightlife. Berlin is a mixed bag and patchwork of beautiful summer greenery and open spaces that are actually scars from a not so distant history.
Since the 1920's novels such as Alfred Döblin's (German, 1929) Berlin Alexanderplatzand Christopher Isherwood's (English,1939) Goodbye to Berlinhavechronicled the city during its liberal Weimar era into its delirious slide into fascism.
We have gathered here a list of writers and books that are noteworthy to the literary history of Berlin's rise and fall, reinvention, tension within itself, and emergence from the ashes of city divided.
The Giftby Vladimir Nabokov (Russian, 1938) - Russian émigré metafiction highlighting Berlin’s émigré population and the bustling intellectual circles of the 1920s
Alone in Berlinby Hans Fallada (German, 1947) - a novel of resistance in Berlin under the Nazis
The Wall Jumperby Peter Schneider (German, 1980) - A story of divided Berlin in the early 1980s
The Innocentby Ian McEwan (English, 1990) - Cold War era novel
Midsummer Nightby Uwe Timm (German, 1998) - Depicts Post Reunification Berlin
Stasiland: Stories from Behind the BerlinWall by Anna Funder (Australian, 2002) - The title speaks for itself
Slumberlandby Paul Beatty (American, 2008) - An African American perspective of post-Wall Berlin
Book of Cloudsby Chloe Aridjis, (Mexican 2009) - a beautiful memoir of post-Wall Berlin
These books are simply a guide, a taste of what has informed this section. We are looking to inspire our visitors to read, to feed the souls of those who imagine and tell stories through the written word by buying their books.
Our first Berlin-based author in this section, Guenther Primig, is featured with his first book,The Dark Book of Gwenna Luna (December, 2019). The book is a collection of short ghost stories written in the classic ghost story tradition. Gwenna Luna, the book's namesake, guides us through the stories for a suspenseful ride. The fear of the occult and our deep-seated superstitions of the mystical keeps one turning the pages of this book in anticipation.