Jurek Becker

On the beach at Bochum there’s a lot going on - Postcards

Edited by Christine Becker
Jurek Becker
Foto: Jurek Becker
© Nikolaus Becker

Jurek Becker was born on September 30, 1937, in Lodz/Poland and died on March 14, 1997, in Sieseby/Schleswig-Holstein.

From 1939 to 1945 Becker grew up in the Ghetto in Lodz and was later interred in the concentration camps of Ravensbrück and Sachsenhausen. In 1945 he moved to East Berlin where between 1957 and 1960 he studied Philosophy at Humboldt University. In 1960 for political reasons Becker was barred from studying further and thus transferred to film school in Babelsberg.

Becker is the author of numerous screenplays. In 1969 his first novel was published – Jacob the Liar became known throughout the world. Jurek Becker’s work was awarded with numerous prizes, including the Grimme Prize and the Order of Merit of the Federal Republic of Germany.

Rights available

From the author of the international bestseller Jacob the Liar


Over the course of his life as a writer Jurek Becker has explored many genres. He wrote texts for the cabaret, authored movie scripts, garnered international acclaim with his debut novel Jacob the Liar, published short stories and essays. In his estate drafts were found for most of his works. Among these, drafts for postcards were discovered as well, in which he used the same conceptual approach as he did in his prose works. The number of postcards, which Becker primarily wrote towards the end of his life, shows that his aim in writing them was to bring a moment of joy to friends or family members. Messages of the author about himself were of secondary importance. First and foremost, Jurek Becker was concerned with entertaining the reader for a few minutes. Increasingly, the postcard became the textual form in which the author enjoyed expressing himself. It was, after all, a form that allowed for word games and silliness – and that, on the other hand, off ered the possibility of showing affection without having to disclose too much information about himself.

In chronological order and put into context, Jurek Becker’s postcards tell a lot about his life and personality, provide information about his passions, but most notably about his unique way of lifting the spirits of his loved ones and consoling them in times of separation.


»An enchanting collection of the postcards Jurek Becker wrote to his friends and family ... Here his spirit shines particularly bright.« Andreas Platthaus, Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung

»This book is a gift. Thanks to the salutation of ›You butt end you‹ alone, one of many tender declarations of love to his wife, one wants at all costs to hold the book in one’s hands.« Frankfurter Rundschau

»Becker elevated the writing of these lyrical signs of life into a downright artform and in so doing likely created his own literary genre.« Spiegel Online

»These postcards are nothing other than the secret, bittersweet autobiography of an author who, employing the truth of lies, allows reality to shine through appearance.« Der Tagesspiegel

»Christine Becker has presented us with a huge selection from her collection of 950 postcards Becker once sent to various recipients – a picture book you put down with a feeling of melancholy: for Jurek Becker is no longer here, for soon there will be no more postcards, for this entertaining book ends far too quickly. But there is a remedy for the latter: you can pick up this lovely collection again and again and enjoy its stories and crazy motifs.« Badische Zeitung

»Every page has a transcription of the text and a facsimile of both sides of the card. An homage to the postcards – and a celebration of creating art in the smallest of spaces.« Augsburger Allgemeine

»Jurek Becker could not stop writing postcards. And that was great. For the author not only always managed to find fantastic motifs, but a subtle punchline for his beloved recipients.« Kölner Stadt-Anzeiger

»Over and over again Becker succeeds in creating little pieces of art with his postcards.« Mitteldeutsche Zeitung

»The author of such famous books as Jakob the Liar or Bronstein’s Children was not only a exceptionally gifted novelist and the scriptwriter for Liebling Kreuzberg. He was also a decidedly brilliant writer of postcards.« Lesart

»As tragic as his stories are, Becker knew how to be humorous when writing his cards. His talent of being able to take things in a light-hearted way together with his singular way of seeing is also something to be discovered in this beautifully designed book of postcards.« WDR

Other publications

Jakob der Lügner/Jacob the Liar (2007)

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UK (Pan Books), Catalan rights (Edicions de 1984), Chinese Complex rights (Yuan-Liou), Brazilian Portuguese rights (Companhia das Letras), France (Grasset), Korea (Munhakdongne), Macedonia (Goten), Georgia (Intelekti); previously published in the respective language / territory; rights available again: USA (Arcade), Spanish world rights (Destino), Chinese Simplex rights (Yilin), Russia (Text), Italy (Feltrinelli), Netherlands (Van Gennep), Sweden (Norstedts) Norway (Solum), Finland (Tammi), Japan (Dogakusha), Hungary (Kriterion), Romania (Editura Dacia), Estonia (Eesti Raamat), Serbia (Matica Srpska), Slovenia (Hermagoras), Turkey (Ayrinti), Greece (Patakis)

Amanda herzlos/Amanda Heartless (1994)

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Previously published in the respective language / territory; rights available again: Spanish world rights (Tusquets), Russia (Azbooka), France (Grasset), Italy (Feltrinelli), Sweden (Norstedts), Denmark (Gyldendal), Poland (Polnord Wydawnictwo), Slovenia (Hermagoras), Turkey (Ayrinti)

Domestic Rights Sales: German Audiobook (DAV)