Lutz Seiler

The Time-Balance - Stories

(German title: Die Zeitwaage)
ca. 287 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)

Sold to

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

Nominated for the Leipzig Book Fair Prize 2010


Whether in the story of a play-acted shooting or in the everyday drama of a real-life separation – all the texts in The Time-Balance are about decisive turning-points, about the grotesque quality of life, and our often futile endeavours to alter the course of things.

»I go to the watchmaker Walinski once a week to put my watch on the timing machine. Ever since I discovered that I’m actually a dreamer (»a damn dreamer«, as my father always used to say), I am completely at peace; I am at peace and ease and only do what I want to. Things that I know are good for me.«

With the composure of an acrobat, this dreamer wanders Berlin after the fall of the wall. Of the things that come into his possession in the process is a unique watch whose ticks tell him the tale of what has happened to him.
Lutz Seiler’s long-anticipated new book contains thirteen other stories along side Turksib, which was awarded the Ingeborg Bachman Prize. Whether the stories relate a staged shooting or a real separation from the drama of daily life, all the works in The Time-Balance revolve around decisive turning points, the grotesque in life and our often futile struggle for another path.


»Vast, passionately poetic tenderness in every line of this nostalgic tale. ... A grandiose and original debut that sets itself clearly apart from the insipid, commercially successful self-centred prose of many young authors.« sandammeer.at

As a writer of prose fiction, too, the poet Seiler proves – like the clockmaker in The Time Balance – to be a gifted precision mechanic of language.« Wiener Zeitung

»[...] of well-nigh masterly perfection« »Lutz Seiler is a magnificently poised narrator of the collateral damage inflicted on the soul by the communist system.« Die Zeit Literaturbeilage

»Lutz Seiler has long been considered one of the most important German poets. [...] The appearance of these 13 short stories now places him indis-putably among the leading writers of prose.« Mannheimer Morgen

Other publications

Stern 111/Star 111 (2020)

Sold to:

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)

Kruso/Kruso (2014)

Sold to:

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)

Sold to:

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

Turksib/Turksib (2008)

Rights available

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

Sold to:

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

vierzig kilometer nacht/forty kilometres of night (2003)

Sold to:

English world rights (And Other Stories)

pech & blende/pech & blende (2000)

Sold to:

English world rights (And Other Stories)