Andreas Maier

The University - Novel

(German title: Die Universität)
ca. 147 pages
Andreas Maier
Foto: Andreas Maier
© Jürgen Bauer

Andreas Maier, born in Bad Nauheim in 1967, lives in Hamburg. Among numerous other honors, he was awarded the ZDF aspekte Prize, the Robert Gernhardt Preis, the Wilhelm Raabe Prize and the Franz Hessel Prize.

»The most talented blusterer among the younger generation of writers.« Die Zeit

»A name to remember.« Frankfurter Rundschau


Rights available

That time of your early twenties…


Goethe University Frankfurt. 1988, 1989. An entirely different degree back then: in short, nothing less than complete freedom. From drinking beer in the pub »Doctor Flotte« to seminars on truth theory (which see the philosophy students rushing to the doctor’s already mid-semester) a complete loss of self is just around the corner for our protagonist, while time too is getting turned on its head.

One day while looking for some student digs he thinks he recognises a former lover from 1983 in an erotic magazine he's chanced upon. What comes to rescue him from his desperate and lethargic existence in the cave where he's holed up, however, is, of all things, a nursing case: Gretel Adorno, the philosopher’s ancient widow, for whom he works as part of his student job. For though scratched and insulted at every turn, he actually gets along with her much better than with the rest of his surroundings.

The University is a novel about whether it's even possible to discuss something like an »I« or »person«. It’s that time of our early twenties when we're still stuck in our leftover roles from adolescence, even though we've long since realised there’s got to be somewhere else for us to go.


»[Maier] manages to express why the student fails with every attempt, and in just such a wonderful way...a successful novel arises.« Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung

»The Unversity is a thoroughly funny book. This has to do with the rigorous gaze Maier casts upon himself and others. As a storyteller he is always an essayist and analyst as well. And that is the particular charm of his prose.« Der Tagesspiegel

»Maier’s books are slim; marking the by-now familiar with sketch-like sentences they prefer instead to deepen themselves in analytical observations that circle around the Self.« DIE WELT

»What makes the success of Knausgård, Henschel, and Maier likewise, is the ordinariness of the events retold – childhood friendships, families’ misfits, disasters at school, the discovery of sexuality, adolescent politicization but also aestheticisation – but it also asserts that certain literary aspiration that fiction usually attests phantasy through the preciseness of description.« Andreas Platthaus, FAZ

»Andreas Maier continues his eleven-part Heimat saga, as excellent as it is profound.« Frankfurter Rundschau

» Each of his […] memory sketches is chosen with care. And [each of them] unfailingly leads to metaphysical Proust-like moments.« Gerrit Bartels, Der Tagesspiegel

»A formidable read.« Judith Liere, Der Stern

»The University is yet another stroke of genius from the pen of Andreas Maier.« Nürnberger Nachrichten

»With this short novel Andreas Maier tells the delicate story of someone trying to find their place in the world.« Buchkultur

»A novel in just 150 pages: this works, for The University fits in to Maier’s large-scale and magnificent cycle of novels ... « der Freitag

»These highly concentrated miniatures, which reveal a thing or two about time and the author too, are cleverly constructed and, as part of a larger project, of an entirely addictive nature.« Westfalenpost

»From his precise observations he makes gripping literature and does not have to resort to adding further details.« Heilbronner Stimme

»Though the book has to do with detailed, personal stories and stories about student life in Hesse of those born in the 1960s, it is a richly lyrical pleasure to read.« Siegener Zeitung

»Andreas Maier continues his magnificent autobiographical project – and finds himself at ›University‹.« Gießener Anzeiger

Other publications

Bullau/Bullau (2017)

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Der Ort/The Town (2015)

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Italy (Del Vecchio), Denmark (Batzer)

Die Straße/The Street (2013)

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Italy (Del Vecchio), Denmark (Rosenkilde & Bahnhof)

Das Haus/The House (2011)

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Italy (Del Vecchio), Denmark (Rosenkilde & Bahnhof)

Das Zimmer/The Room (2010)

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English world rights digital (Frisch & Co.), Spanish world rights (Adriana Hidalgo), Italy (Del Vecchio), Denmark (Rosenkilde & Bahnhof), Norway (Hovde & Brekke), Czech Republic (Archa), Macedonia (Goten)

Sanssouci/Sanssouci (2009)

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Kirillow/Kirillow (2005)

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Spanish world rights (Adriana Hidalgo Editora), Russia (Ast-Press Kniga), Netherlands (Ambo/Anthos), Poland (ATUT)

Klausen/Klausen (2002)

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English world rights (Open Letter), Spanish world rights (Tusquets), Russia (Ast-Press Kniga), France (Actes Sud), Italy (Aliberti)

Domestic Rights Sales: German Audiobook (Der Hörverlag)

Wäldchestag/Adomeit’s Will (2000)

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Spanish world rights (Adriana Hidalgo), Russia (Ast-Press Kniga), France (Métailié), Slovenia (Litera)

Domestic Rights Sales: German Book Club (Der Club Bertelsmann)