Albert Ostermaier

Lenz in Lebanon

(German title: Lenz im Libanon)
ca. 190 pages
Albert Ostermaier
Foto: Albert Ostermaier
© Kunstverlust eV

Albert Ostermaier, born in Munich in 1967, was playwright-in-residence at the Nationaltheater in Mannheim and at the Bayerisches Staatsschauspiel.

Albert Ostermaier has been awarded renowned prizes for his dramatic works, among them the Kleist-Prize, the Bertolt-Brecht-Prize and the 2011 World Literature Prize for his oeuvre. He has hitherto published more than 20 books and 28 plays with Suhrkamp. He was writer-in-residence in New York and has been a visiting lecturer at various German universities for the past few years. Ostermaier gained a high reputation as the artistic director of different festivals.

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Arabic world rights (Al Kamel)


Between Europe and the Middle East, between self-abandonment and war: Lenz in the 21st century

In Georg Büchner’s novella, the writer Jakob Michael Reinhold Lenz withdraws himself from the world as he is only able to cope with his despair when it’s upside down. The writer in Albert Ostermaier’s new novel, also named Lenz, is fleeing the establishment – at the same time, Lenz is addicted to being online constantly, to being mentioned. He discovers Beirut for himself, a city that promises a solution and thus an end to the life crisis impacting his work. Yet Beirut is the city of contradictions, of ambiguity, and, in that way, an example for a future. Lenz sees and feels all of this when he wanders through the city in 2014: he is caught in the crossfire between oppositions and flees into the ruins, is caught between love and hate and flees into the twilight; he remembers the civil war, scenes he cannot have experienced, and nightmares that he sought to escape.

In his new novel, Albert Ostermaier explores the current kaleidoscope of violent eruptions within individuals and between those in power in the most terrifying detail. To experience and to process them in writing is the task of the author. Albert Ostermaier’s Lenz in Lebanon tells of the daily routine and the yearning of an author in its fast-paced rhythm that intertwines the bloody reality with metaphorical explorations.


Book presentation of Lenz in Lebanon with Secretary of State Franz-Walter Steinmeier:

Other publications

Schwarze Sonne scheine/May the Black Sun shine (2011)

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Domestic Rights Sales: German Audiobook (Griot)

Zephyr/Zephyr (2008)

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Italy (Scritturapura)