Ralf Rothmann

Hotel of Insomniacs - Stories

(German title: Hotel der Schlaflosen)
ca. 200 pages
Ralf Rothmann
Foto: Ralf Rothmann
© Heike Steinweg

Ralf Rothmann was born in 1953 in Schleswig and grew up in the Ruhr. He lives in Berlin.

He is the recipient of numerous awards, including:

Uwe-Johnson-Prize 2018
Premio San Clemente 2017
Kleist Preis 2017
Friedrich-Hölderlin-Prize 2013
Hans-Fallada-Preis 2008
Literaturpreis der Konrad-Adenauer-Stiftung 2008
Max-Frisch-Preis 2006
Heinrich-Böll-Preis 2005
Wilhelm Raabe Literaturpreis 2004

Sold to

Italy (Neri Pozza)

By the author of To Die in Spring, sold into 25 territories


»Fear is a man’s best friend« is the motto of Hotel of Insomniacs, Ralf Rothmann’s new volume of stories, and indeed it is often fear that helps his characters overcome difficulties. The ageing lecturer who has an epiphany about the logic of love when his car breaks down in the Mexican desert, the violinist who receives a final diagnosis, or the child on the landing, awaiting his punishment – all of them experience fear as inverted hope too.

And even in the harrowing title story, the conversation of author Isaac Babel with Vasily Blokhin, his Muscovite executioner, for whom a bullet is the last and greatest truth, the author lets us participate in the realisation that there is a higher one.

After the exceedingly successful diptych of novels To Die in Spring, which was translated into twenty-five languages, and The God of That Summer Ralf Rothmann presents Hotel of Insomniacs, his new volume of stories, carried by captivating, powerful eloquence and great empathy. Eleven masterpieces – and en passant a history of human sensitivities from the post-war period to the present.


»[Rothmann‘s stories] are talking mirror images of a self-confident master.« Andreas Kilb, Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung

»It is astounding how subjective expression and objective content can balance each other in an author’s works.« Thomas Steinfeld, Süddeutsche Zeitung

»Ralf Rothmann is a sensitive chronicler of adversity. And a brilliant observer ...« Franziska Wolfheim, Der Tagesspiegel

»Rothmann‘s sense of reality is shockingly radical.« Christian Thomas, Frankfurter Rundschau

»Ruhrgebiet meets Johann Peter Hebel [in] Ralf Rothmann‘s masterful volume of stories Hotel of Insomniacs.« Richard Kämmerlings, DIE WELT

»Is Hotel of Insomniacs the best volume of stories by a German-language author to be published this autumn? In any case, it should be difficult to surpass.« Wolfgang Schneider, Deutschlandfunk

»Profound grief informs these stories. Sometimes even anger. Mirth, at times. But they are always full of life.« Joachim Dicks, NDR

»These stories are shocking, moving and leave a lasting impression. Amazing!« Carsten Otte, SWR 2

Other publications

Der Gott jenes Sommers/The God of That Summer (2018)

Sold to:

English world rights (Picador), Italy (Neri Pozza), Czech Republic (Argo), Croatia (Fraktura), Turkey (Yapi Kredi), Greece (Kastaniotis)

Domestic Rights Sales: German Audiobook (Hörbuch Hamburg), German Book Club rights (Büchergilde Gutenberg)

Im Frühling sterben/To Die in Spring (2015)

Sold to:

English world rights (Picador UK; USA/Canada sublicense: FSG; English audiobook sublicense: Tantor), Spanish world rights (Libros del Asteroide), Catalan rights (L'Altra Editorial), Portuguese rights (Sextante Editora), France (Denoël), Italy (Neri Pozza), Netherlands (Arbeiderspers), Denmark (Rosinante), Sweden (Thorén & Lindskog), Norway (Gyldendal Norsk), Finland (Atena), Poland (W.A.B.), Czech Republic (Argo), Slovak Republic (Premedia), Hungary (Magvetö), Bulgaria (Atlantis), Romania (ART), Estonia (Hea Lugu), Croatia (Fraktura), Serbia (Laguna), Slovenia (Goga), Turkey (Yapi Kredi), Greece (Kastaniotis), Kosovo / Albanian world rights (Buzuku)

Domestic Rights Sales: German Audiobook (Hörbuch Hamburg), German Entire Radio Reading (NDR)

Feuer brennt nicht/Fire Doesn't Burn (2009)

Sold to:

English world rights (Seagull), Arabic world rights (Kalima), Lithuania (Lithuania Writers Union Publishers)

Junges Licht/Young Light (2004)

Sold to:

English world rights (Seagull), Spanish world rights (Libros Del Asteroide), Russia (Fluid), Finland (Avain), Turkey (Metis), Azerbaijan (Alatoran); previously published in the respective language / territory; rights available again: Poland (Atut)

Hitze/Heat (2003)

Sold to:

Croatia (Fraktura), Macedonia (Antolog); previously published in the respective language / territory; rights available again: Russia (Ast)

Milch und Kohle/Milk and Coal (2000)

Sold to:

Sweden (Thoren & Lindskog), Serbia (Clio), Turkey (Yapi Kredi); previously published in the respective language / territory; rights available again: France (Laurence Teper)

Domestic Rights Sales: German Book Club rights (Büchergilde Gutenberg), German Hardcover Sublicense (Klartext)