Wednesdays Are Wunderbar – German Literature Month Giveaway I

Those who followed German Literature Month last year know that Wednesdays are wunderbar because they are giveaway days!

This year we are splitting the giveaways into two batches. The first, this one, is a goody bag designed to complement the first half of the month during which we’ll be reading novellas and literary novels. It’s hosted by Lizzy, so if you are interested in winning one of the following books, make sure to visit her blog soon.

The first two novellas are courtesy of Pushkin Press, the next two are offered by Haus Publishing. The only novel among the titles,  The Bridge of the Golden Horn, is my contribution.

Burning Secret – Stefan Zweig (1913)
Set in an Austrian spa where a lonely twelve-year-old is befriended by a charming and enigmatic baron. As the boy gradually becomes infatuated with him, the older man heartlessly brushes him aside to turn his seductive attention to the boy’s mother.

Fear – Stefan Zweig (1913)
Irene Wagner has been married for eight years and is tired of her bourgeois and predictable existence as wife and mother. She starts an affair with an up-and-coming young pianist but finds herself being blackmailed by her lover’s former mistress. Irene is soon in the grip of an astonishing fear.

A Minute’s Silence – Siegfried Lenz (2009)
The delicately paced structure of Lenz’s novella begins with the memorial ceremony for a popular young English mistress, Stella Petersen, seamlessly alternating between this scene and eighteen-year-old Christian’s memory of a summer love affair with his tutor. They keep their mutual attraction concealed at school and as the season goes on the lovers continue to meet discreetly. Tragedy strikes when Stella goes on holiday with friends, sailing around the Danish islands. As the yacht returns to Hirtshafen at the end of the trip, a storm breaks. Before Christian’s eyes his beloved is flung overboard and fatally wounded. Lenz was twenty or thirty pages into writing A Minute’s Silence when his wife of fifty-six years died. Grief-stricken, he suffered from a serious bout of writer’s block and it seemed he would never finish the novel. With the passage of time, Lenz found that he could write again and complete this tender love story. Despite the obvious distance and difference of Lenz’s own long marriage and the brief, youthful passion of Christian for Stella, Lenz has wrought a well-aimed response to Auden’s famous request: ‘Tell me the truth about love.’

On the Edge – Markus Werner (2004)
When the cynical divorce lawyer Thomas Clarin finds himself at a table on the terrace of the Bellavista Hotel beside Thomas Loos, an eccentric, ageing philologist, hey strike up an unlikely conversation. Soon Clarin’s questions tease out stories from Loos’ past, and as both men slowly reveal more of themselves they are forced to question their opinions on love and life. The men are opposites; they intrigue and repel each other. But as the mystery of Loos’ past deepens, we begin it wonder if all as it seems.

The Bridge of the Golden Horn – Emine Sevqi Ozdamar (2002)
The Bridge of the Golden Horn is a coming-of-age novel, a sentimental education that is also a political, cultural and intellectual one. In 1966, at the age of 16, the unnamed heroine lies about her age and signs up as a migrant worker in Germany. She leaves Istanbul, works on an assembly line in West Berlin making radios, and lives in a women’s factory hostel. But this novel is not about the problems of assembly line work – it’s a witty, picaresque account of a precocious teenager refusing to become wise, of a hectic four years lived between Berlin and Istanbul, of a young woman who is obsessed by theatre, film, poetry and left-wing politics. These are sometimes grim years, particularly in Turkey, but they also have a hope and optimism that seem almost unimaginable today.


Now all you have to do is visit Lizzy’s blog.

The competition is open internationally.