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Hans Erich Nossack – 120th Birthday on 30 January 2021

29.01.2021

Hans Erich Nossack was born in Hamburg in 1901, and much of his writing was shaped by his relationship to his native city, where he died in 1977. His work was banned by the Nazi regime and most of his manuscripts were destroyed by the allied bombing of Hamburg in 1943. Hailed by Jean-Paul Sartre as one of the great German existentialist novelists, Hans Erich Nossack has long been considered a major writer throughout Europe. His essays, poems, plays and novels, including To the Unknown Hero, The d’Arthes Case and The Impossible Proof, won him Europe’s most important literary prizes, including the Büchner Prize in 1961.

We invite you to rediscover the works by this »sober-minded visionary« (Marcel Reich-Ranicki) in this the 120th year since his birth.


»Jean-Paul Sartre considered Nossack (1901-1976) one of the great German existentialists, and this hypnotic short novel indeed testifies to an extraordinary artistic sensibility.« Publishers Weekly on An Offering for the Dead

»Nossack has written a splendidly humorous book in which the comic – and at times almost burlesque – element brilliantly focuses the essential discontinuity in life. He has always evinced a predilection for the comic and dramatic in his works, but never before have they been so overt.« The Times Literary Supplement on To the Unknown Hero

»A small but critical book, something to read in those quiet moments when we wonder what will happen next.« Susan Salter Reynolds, Los Angeles Times on The End

»The best love story Germany has produced since 1945.« Marcel Reich-Ranicki on Wait for November

»Nossack’s personality gains depth and definition from the diaries and the intelligent comments. Based on this undoubtedly most personal literary form, a candid and enriching conversation develops with an author who has kept his distance throughout his life.« Frauke Hamann, Deutschlandfunk on The Diaries 1943–1977

To the Unknown Hero
Hans Erich Nossack
To the Unknown Hero
The d´Arthes Case
Hans Erich Nossack
The d'Arthes Case
An Offering for the Dead
Hans Erich Nossack
An Offering for the Dead
Wait for November
Hans Erich Nossack
Wait for November
The Diaries 1943–1977
Hans Erich Nossack
The Diaries 1943–1977
For the Sake of Brevity
Hans Erich Nossack
For the Sake of Brevity
The Impossible Proof
Hans Erich Nossack
The Impossible Proof
The End
Hans Erich Nossack
The End