Lutz Seiler

Star 111 - Novel

(German title: Stern 111)
ca. 528 pages
Lutz Seiler
Foto: Lutz Seiler
© Heike Steinweg

Lutz Seiler was born in 1963 in Gera, Thuringia, and today lives in Wilhelmshorst near Berlin and Stockholm.

He underwent training as a mason and a carpenter and completed his studies in 1990. Since 1997, he has been the literary director and custodian of the Peter Huchel Museum. He has traveled to Central Asia, Eastern Europe, and was writer in residence at the Villa Aurora in Los Angeles and at the German Academy in Rome.

His many prizes include the Ingeborg Bachmann Prize, the Bremen Prize for Literature, the Fontane Prize, and the Uwe-Johnson-Prize. For more information, please visit the author's website: https://lutzseiler.de

Prizes and Awards:
1999 Kranichstein Literature Prize
2000 Meran Poetry Prize
2000 Dresden Poetry Prize
2002 Anna Seghers Prize
2003 Ernst Meister Prize
2003 Villa Aurora grant, Los Angeles
2004 Bremen Literature Prize
2005 SWR Best List Prize
2007 Ingeborg Bachmann Prize
2009 Harald Gerlach grant, state of Thuringia
2010 Nomination for the Leipzig Book Fair Prize (for Die Zeitwaage)
2010 German Narrator Prize (for Die Zeitwaage)
2010 City of Neuruppin Fontane Prize (for Die Zeitwaage)
2011 Villa Massimo German Academy grant, Rome
2012 Christian Wagner Prize
2012 Rainer Malkowski Prize (shared)
2014 Mainz Poetic Lectureship
2014 Uwe Johnson Prize (for Kruso)
2014 German Book Prize (for Kruso)
2015 Marie Luise Kaschnitz Prize
2015 Heidelberg Poetic Lectureship, Ruprecht Karl University of Heidelberg
2017 Thuringia Literature Prize
2020 Prize of the Leipzig Book Fair (for Stern 111)
2020 Kakehashi Prize for Literature, Tokyo (for Kruso)

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English world rights (And Other Stories), Arabic world rights (Kalima), France (Verdier), Netherlands (Meridiaan), Denmark (Batzer), Sweden (Norstedts), Bulgaria (Black Flamingo), Greece (Patakis)

Domestic Rights Sales: German Audiobook (DAV), German Entire Radio Readings (rbb & NDR), German Book Club (Büchergilde Gutenberg)

The new novel by the author of Kruso (German Book Prize Winner 2014), translated into 22 languages

Winner of the Prize of the Leipzig Book Fair 2020



More than 100.000 copies sold


#1 on the Spiegel Bestseller List

A panorama of the first years after German reunification in East and West


Two days after the Fall of the Berlin Wall, Inge and Walter Bischoff leave their old life behind – the apartment, the garden, their work and the country. Their journey takes the two fifty-year- olds far away: Through transit camps and temporary accommodations they follow a dream they have long since fostered, a »life secret« even their son Carl knows nothing about.

Carl, on the other hand, abandoning his task of minding his parents’ apartment in the small town of Gera, escapes to Berlin. He lives on the streets until he is accepted into the »smart pack«, a group of young men and women who pursue dark operations, guerrilla warfare for empty buildings and the pub Assel. With the pack and the Assel as his base, Carl drifts through the archaic chaos of post-reunification, always in hopes of seeing Effi again, »the only woman he had ever been in love with.«

A panorama of the first years after German reunification in East and West: After his bestseller Kruso, which was awarded the German Book Prize and has been translated into 22 languages, Lutz Seiler continues the story in two grand narrative arcs – in a road trip that spans halfway across the globe and in a Berlin novel that shows us the first days of a new world. And in passing, he tells the story of a family blown apart by the Autumn of ‘89 who must now find each other again.


»Lutz Seiler reaches the level of a Thomas Pynchon here. […] This is athmospherically rich, true world literature. World literature is, after all, that which lets me see the world with different eyes, which shows me a part of the world I have not seen before. And this is what Seiler manages to do in Star 111.« Denis Scheck, SWR lesenswert

»Star 111 is a political novel, but not because it talks about a pivotal era of political change but because it reveals the fiery nucleus of everything political, its dual nature: the unity of poetic rapture and the mysticism of the revolution. […] Lutz Seiler has the ability to describe the ridiculous, overheated and even the unconscionable of that political romanticism without having to denounce the original impulse. That’s what makes Star 111 great literature.« Ijoma Mangold, DIE ZEIT

»Lutz Seiler renders visible what might once have been possible beyond the opaque clichés. And it would probably still be possible today, if the ensoulment of a reunited Germany hadn’t suffered so much. Star 111 is a novel full of hard-hitting, deeply moving psychology, full of scenes in which people shake th efoundations of a reality that is in the process of creating new laws for itself.« Paul Jandl, Neue Zürcher Zeitung

»The animal, the reader understands, knows neither longing nor nostalgia. The fact that the novel shares, in this regard, the view of a goat, is its last and biggest virtue.« Thomas Steinfeld, Süddeutsche Zeitung

»For the second time now Lutz Seiler has achieved something rather extraordinary: to talk about how one actually leads a poetic existence, a matter that is as euphoric as it is cruel, in a novel that is ›suitable for the masses‹ in the best sense of the word.« Jan Wiele, Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung

»Lutz Seiler talks about a city and a time that seemed to have been exhausted. But he creates a new fascination.« Jona Nietfeld, Der Tagesspiegel

»What appears in [Seiler’s] lens is a close-up of a historical moment in which the other as a possibility seemed to be within reach but disintegrated after all. The novel lens a unique voice to the power that this promise was able to unleash.« Steffen Mau, der Freitag

»Lutz Seiler‘s novel Star 111 talks about the chaotic departure in East-Berlin after the end of the GDR in a sublime way.« Cornelia Geißler, Frankfurter Rundschau

»It has been a long time since anyone has talked about those foggy years, glossed over with garish colours by other poets scores of times, more movingly than Lutz Seiler.« Anja Maier, taz. die tageszeitung

»Seiler tells a story of freedom in a poetically-precise style.« Der Spiegel

»The artful story by Seiler, born in Gera in 1963, ventures into the spell of post-1989 Berlin, the space of possibility. It is literary historicism between sleepwalking and squatting.« der Freitag

»Star 111 achieves many things impressively.« Fokke Joel, neues deutschland

»Star 111 is the atmospherically dense story of the immediate time after Fall of the Berlin Wall.« focus

»This is much more than a mere historical novel. It condenses an era and invokes the great panaoramas of consciousness of modernity and Eastern modernity in a highly independent way.« Helmut Böttiger, Deutschlandfunk Kultur

»This unexpected novel about the post-reunification from the partially decayed, far from gentrified Berlin convinces with its unique atmospheric density, its gentle irony and the devotion to the matter at hand.« Bayerischer Rundfunk

»With Star 111, Lutz Seiler presents another great novel that talks enchantingly about departures and downfalls, about social utopias and societal realities, about humiliation and pride. A fascinating (hi)story book.« Katja Weise, NDR Kultur

»A fantastic, densely told piece of German history.« Alexander Wasner, SWR 2

»What distinguishes it from the many Berlin-Reunification-books is that there is not a trace of caricature, no narrative cunning, but still captivating entertainment.« Roland Gutsch, Nordkurier

»Lutz Seiler’s writings trace back to Uwe Johnson’s poetry and reflect the German past, present and future beyond the surface of ›simple truths‹.« from the Jury Rationale of the Uwe-Johnson-Prize 2014

»Lutz Seiler’s stories enchant with their gentle, sweeping style« from the Jury Rationale of the Deutscher Erzählerpreis 2010


Other publications

Kruso/Kruso (2014)

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English world rights (Scribe), Spanish world rights (Anagrama), Catalan rights (Club Editor), Chinese simplex rights (Horizon), Russia (Text), France (Verdier), Italy (Del Vecchio), Netherlands (Meridiaan / Dutch Media Group), Denmark (Batzer & Co.), Sweden (Norstedts), Norway (Gyldendal Norsk), Japan (Hakusuisha), Poland (Jagielonian UP), Hungary (Europa), Bulgaria (Atlantis), Romania (RAO), Lithuania (Kitos Knygos), Serbia (Laguna), Slovenia (Sodobnost), Turkey (Bence), Greece (Patakis), Macedonia (Goten), Armenia (Antares)

Domestic Rights Sales: German Audiobook (Hörbuch Hamburg), German Entire Radio Reading (NDR), German Book Club (Büchergilde Gutenberg + Club Bertelsmann)

im felderlatein/in field latin (2010)

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English world rights (Seagull), Italy (selection, Del Vecchio), Sweden (selection, Faethon)

Die Zeitwaage/The Time-Balance (2009)

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Catalan Rights (selection, Club Editor), Arabic world rights (Al'Asreya), France (Verdier), Italy (Del Vecchio Editore)

Turksib/Turksib (2008)

Rights available

Sonntags dachte ich an Gott/Sundays I Thought About God (2004)

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English world rights (And Other Stories), Italy (selection, Del Vecchio)

vierzig kilometer nacht/forty kilometres of night (2003)

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English world rights (And Other Stories)

pech & blende/pech & blende (2000)

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English world rights (And Other Stories)