Announcing German Literature Month III – November 2013


Lizzy and I are delighted to be making this announcement and we hope you’re happy to hear it.  The tweets of others as early as January of this year looking forward to German Literature Month convinced us it just had to happen.  And so your wishes have come true. This time, however, we are issuing a challenge.

GLM I and II were resounding successes and we want GLM III to follow suit.  One thing has concerned us though.   Why were the lady writers so grossly under-represented?  Only 22% of the authors read in GLM I, reducing to 19% in GLM II, were female. We want to redress that balance.  Now we’re not going all Orange prize on you.  We don’t want to exclude the great male authors in German(-language) literature.  But we are structuring the month so that there are times to focus in on the ladies.

We would, therefore, like the structure of German Literature Month III to look like this.

Week 1:  1-7.11 Ladies Week

Week 2:  8-14.11 Gents Week

Week 3: 15-21.11 Ladies Week

Week 4: 22-28.11 Gents Week

Weekend 29-30.11 Read as you please

Read anything you want: any format, any genre. As long as the works were originally written in German and are reviewed during November, they count for GLM III.  The ideal female:male author ratio at the end of the month would be 50:50.

We will also have two readalongs:

7.11 Lizzy will lead a discussion of a title to be determined by public vote. A post will follow shortly with voting options. In the meantime if there’s a title you wish to suggest, written by a female (it will be ladies’ week after all), please leave a comment.

29.11 Caroline will lead a War and Literature discussion of Hans Keilson’s Death of the Adversary.

With just 5 weeks and 3 days to go it’s time to start planning.  Check out those TBR’s and library catalogues.  Find some female authors to read.  Most of all get excited.  This is the German Lit blogging event of the year.  What’s not to get excited about?

80 thoughts on “Announcing German Literature Month III – November 2013

  1. I actually think I read a book by a lady last year. Woohoo. Now I need to get a library card in my new neighborhood so I can track down some books. That will be this week’s project.

  2. My favourite bookish event of the year! So excited that it is just around the corner! That ratio between men and women authors read during previous GLMs is revealing. I love the theme of GLM III. Three cheers to German (writing) women authors! I have already lined up a few women writers for GLM – I have saved Marlen Haushofer’s ‘Nowhere Ending Sky’ for the first week and I have also added three books by Ingeborg Bachmann (Thanks a lot for recommending her works :)) and one book by Cornelia Funke (long pending read). I also want to add a book by Christa Wolf.

    So excited and can’t wait for 1st November!

  3. I was planning to redress the balance by reading some German science fiction (The Carpet Makers) Now I’m going to have to head off the library to see if I can add a female or two to the list. I do love bookish research like this, so thanks for diversity prod!

  4. I am happy to announce I’ll be joining in this year 🙂

    my school library has Grim Tales although it might not be original (I meant the easier veraion for kids) but I will try to see if they have the advanced level for that tale.

  5. Great, a spur to dig out some stuff that I want to get to – Anna Seghers, Theodore Storm, Theodore Fontaine.
    I’ll try to keep up.

    Plus I just read Death of the Adversary (couple of weeks ago) so hopefully can contribute to that discussion.

  6. Oh, I AM so very excited! Last year was awesome, and I hope this year will be even more so, because I will have time to prepare 🙂 It’s great that you are focusing on female writers this year. I can’t remember reading any, so I definitely need to start 🙂

    • My pleasure, Judith and glad to have you. We’re already starting our reading, or rather Lizzy has already and I will follow.
      There will be a poll for thes econd readalong. Don’t miss it. That way you can influnece the choice.

  7. Oh excellent, I wondered if GLM was happening. Love the fact you’re making it balanced this year, great way to draw attention to those female authors in translation. 🙂

  8. I’d like to participate again. But I’ve nothing for the Ladies Week in my shelf! I just counted 7 titles to choose from. I remember a blog post of yours about German lady writers. That’ll come in handy when expanding my wish list.

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  10. Great idea, I’ll try to join in though I almost always read German literature in the original German and it can take a month to read one book…..

  11. Very excited you and Lizzy are hosting this again, Caroline! I’m in and will try and write up a sign-up post once I figure out whom I might read (so many choices). As for the question, “why were the lady writers so grossly underrepresented?,” I’d hazard the guess that for many others the appeal of big names like Bernhard, Broch, Goethe, Kleist, Mann, Musil, Walser and etc. might make somebody with a somewhat limited familiarity with German language lit (like me) opt for one of the big name writers rather than somebody worthy but less famous who happens to have been female. That’s not such a big mystery, is it?

    • That’s great news, Richard. I’m glad you’ll be joing us.
      I totally agree with you and must honestly say, with the exception of a few of the more classic women writes, a lot of the women who are translated are not as good as those who haven’t and unfortunately, editors tend to pick men first.
      In any case, the rules are for us and I’d rather have you read men than nothing. 🙂

  12. I have not participated before, but plan to join this year as your project coincides with my plan to reread Thomas Mann’s Joseph and His Brothers. I’m also will try to join in to the read of Keilson’s Death of an Adversary which has been too long on my TBR list.

    • I’m very glad to hear it. I haven’t read Joseph and his Brothers set, so I-ll be very interested to read your thoughts.
      The Keilson has had very good reviews. I’m sure it will be interesting.

  13. I’ve been looking forward to this as well and have been thinking about potential reads. Now must look through my piles and see how many are male authors and how many females. I tend to read more women authors as a matter of course, but sometimes you just grab and read what is most easily available. Now I wonder how I read in the previous two years. I suspect this will be just as successful as or earlier readalongs and will certainly help get the word out!

  14. Oh I am just so happy. I was wondering whether you will be doing it this year and I am so glad that you are indeed. The best part is that I have quite a few books lined up. Will be doing a sign-up post soon. Thanks a lot.

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  18. I am happy to be participating again this year. Last year I read several short stories by Romantic Era writers, all new to me. This morning I did an intro post and a post on The Tin Drum by Gunther Grass. Next I will post on All Quiet on the Western Front. I am hoping to read some short stories, hopefully by women.

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  20. Pingback: Hello November

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  23. Hello there,
    I came across your blog and GLM initiative through FarmLane Books whose blog I’ve been following for some time now. This GLM sounds like a great idea. I’m already quite committed to reading English books for my book clubs in early December, but I’m about to read a book written in German, but the author I believe isn’t German – does that matter? Also, as I’m new to your site, where do I log the book and title?
    Thanks, Kats

    • Hi Kats, thanks for visiting and welcome to the event. You will find everything on the right side bar. You just click the GLM badge with the title Review site and it leads you to the main page.
      If the book has been written in German, it does qualify, yes. I’d be interested to see what it is.

  24. The Turner Classic Movie Channel here in the Philippines is showing back to back to movies perfect for this event, both starring Greta Garbo. Mata Hari and The Grand Hotel. I can see Stefan Zweig or Joseph Roth strolling through the hotel lobby or Robert Walser working at the desk.

  25. I just posted on my first work by a female author, Tranist by Anne Seghars, 1942, centering on issues getting exit visa from unoccupied France. I am now watching Casablanca, also made at same time- a perfect combination !

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