Bernd Cailloux

Allowed Losses - Roman mémoire

(German title: Gutgeschriebene Verluste)
ca. 270 pages
Bernd Cailloux
Foto: Bernd Cailloux
© Susanne Schleyer

Bernd Cailloux, born 1945, is the author of novels, short stories, essays, and radio plays. His novel Das Geschäftsjahr 1968/69 (The Fiscal Year 1968/69), in many ways a precursor to Allowed Losses, received outstanding reviews in the media. The author lives in Berlin.

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Longlisted for the German Book Prize 2012


Bernd Cailloux looks back from the year 2005 to the 70s and 80s in West Berlin, when this part of the city was still leading an insular life and became a Mecca for nonconformists, conscientious objectors, revolutionaries, and bohemians.

He describes the hedonistic life of a colourful hippie community where buying a house, starting a family or saving up for retirement is out and experimenting with drugs and living for the moment is in. Switching back and forth between the past and the present, the now sixty-year-old author writes about his current love which may also be his last and about his great love affair as a young man, which failed not least because of the drugs.

His view of these years is what makes this book special: Bernd Cailloux doesn’t wrestle with his past; he sees it as an amazing time, but one which came at a price. His tone sets him apart from the usual ’68-and-thereafter story; it is a mixture of irony, perspicuous observation and a certain amount of autobiographical stocktaking.


»Perspective is everything in Cailloux. He looks back at the year 2005, and at the 1980s when he first arrived in Berlin, […] and paints a compelling picture of the insular life that was so typical for Berlin at the time, that isolated, hedonistic, and perennially ego-centric existence, just as he depicts it. It’s a mixture of irony, extremely detailed observation, and maybe something like closure.« 3sat Kulturzeit

»The power and the beguiling charm of this book lie in what is without a doubt its glowing heart: in the funny, sad, gripping search for words adequate to describe everything that, encapsulated in the magic number ‘68’, had such an impact on the narrator’s life and on the course of history itself. […] I wouldn’t be surprised if this outstanding self-parody finally garnered Bernd Cailloux the recognition he deserves.« Ina Hartwig, SZ

»Cailloux can write.« Ulrich Greiner, Die Zeit

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