Marcel Beyer

Putin’s Postbox - Eight Investigations

(German title: Putins Briefkasten)
ca. 221 pages
Marcel Beyer
Foto: Marcel Beyer
© Jürgen Bauer

Marcel Beyer was born and raised in Cologne. The author of several novels and collections of poems, he has received numerous awards and was named one of the best young novelists in the world by The New Yorker. He lives in Dresden.

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English world rights (Voland & Quist)

Kleist Prize 2014


This collection of unpublished stories and vignettes by Marcel Beyer is a book about perception, style, listening, and writing.

One morning, Marcel Beyer drives out to the edge of Dresden in search of a postbox – not just any postbox, but the one that belonged to Vladimir Putin when he lived here in the 1980s. It is no longer there. But what Beyer sees and writes down in the course of his investigations gradually develops into a portrait of Putin that is infinitely more enlightening than any weighty political biography.

Whatever Beyer turns his attention to in these stories and sketches, his meditations on language, culture, and political geography are always inspired by concrete phenomena – be it flowers above Lake Geneva, a classified ad posted by Rimbaud, a one-eyed lion at the Dresden Zoo that was provoked to roar by Dostoyevsky, a miniature painting by Gerhard Richter, or G. E. Lessing’s fire screen in Wolfenbüttel.


»Reading Beyer, you begin to look more closely at the things around you and to be more patient in trusting your own associations and digressions.« Literarische Welt

»Without a doubt one of the finer literary pleasures currently on offer.« FAS

»Marcel Beyer is a wonderfully clear-sighted storyteller. His writing is breezy and intelligent and always carries its double and deeper meaning with it. Marcel Beyer compares this art of gradually surrounding a topic in ever tighter linguistic circles to the circumvention techniques employed by spies and special agents.« Bayern 2 Radio


Other publications

Flughunde/The Karnau Tapes (2013)

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English World Rights (New York Review of Books), France (Ça et La), Netherlands (Scratch Books)

Kaltenburg/Kaltenburg (2008)

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English world rights (Harcourt), Spanish world rights (Edhasa), Chinese simplex rights (People’s Literature Publishing House), Arabic world rights (Kalima), France (Métailié), Italy (Einaudi), Netherlands (Cossée), Sweden (Bonniers), Norway (Pax), Czech Republic (Havran), Hungary (Magvetö), Croatia (Fraktura), Serbia (Geopoetika), Turkey (Ayrinti)

Domestic Rights Sales: German Audiobook (Hoffmann und Campe)

Flughunde/The Karnau Tapes (1995)

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USA (Harcourt), UK (Secker and Warburg), Spanish world rights (Debate), Russia (Amphora), France (Calmann-Lévy), Italy (Einaudi), Netherlands (Meulenhoff), Denmark (Gyldendal), Sweden (Bonniers), Korea (Hyonamsa), Japan (Sanshusha), Poland (Słowo / Obraz Terytoria), Slovakia (Slovensky Spisovatel), Bulgaria (Balkani), Estonia (Tänapäev), Serbia (Geopoetika), Turkey (Ayrinti), Israel (Books in the Attic)