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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

About

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.

Praise

»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

»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

Other publications

Jakob der Lügner/Jacob the Liar (2007)

Sold to:

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

Amanda herzlos/Amanda Heartless (1994)

Sold to:

Spanish world rights (Tusquets - published, rights reverted), Russia (Azbooka - published, rights reverted), France (Grasset - published, rights reverted), Italy (Feltrinelli - published, rights reverted), Sweden (Norstedts - published, rights reverted), Denmark (Gyldendal - published, rights reverted), Poland (Polnord Wydawnictwo - published, rights reverted), Slovenia (Hermagoras - published, rights reverted), Turkey (Ayrinti - published, rights reverted)

Domestic Rights Sales: German Audiobook (DAV)