Marcel Beyer's Kaltenburg: »Mesmerizing foray into postwar Germany«


This week's Publihsers Weekly stars a review of the upcoming English edition of Marcel Beyer's Kaltenburg:

»This mesmerizing foray into postwar Germany by celebrated author Beyer (Spies) is both a singularly researched work of historical fiction (with an ornithological bent), and a postmodern examination of the nature of memory. Falling under the wing of the famed ornithologist Ludwig Kaltenburg as a boy, Hermann Funk is randomly contacted years after his mentor’s death by translator Katharina Fischer, leading Funk to dissect the puzzle of Kaltenburg’s existence in East Germany as well as a mysterious period during WWII when the naturalist was a member of the Nazi party. Modeled after the controversial ethologist Konrad Lorenz, godfather of modern behavioral science, the towering figure of Kaltenburg is only one compelling character in Beyer’s cast. As Kaltenburg’s life intersects with those of other brilliant misfits, like artist Martin Spengler and Funk’s Proust-obsessed wife, Klara, who retreats into complicated literary fabrications at social occasions, Beyer paints an engrossing and terrifying picture of Dresden during the war and later under the Communist yoke. Yet it is Beyer’s complex interpolation of daily memories - sometimes fused or distorted in a Proustian vein - complete with highly detailed ornithological observations that give this work its exquisite flavor.« Publishers Weekly

The rights for this extraordinary work have so far been sold to:

English world rights (Harcourt)
Spanish world rights (Edhasa, 2010)
Chinese simplex (People’s Literature Publishing House, 2010)
Arabic world rights (Kalima)
France (Métailié, 2010)
Italy (Einaudi, 2011)
Netherlands (Cossée, 2009)
Sweden (Bonniers, 2008)
Norway (Pax, 2010)
Croatia (Fraktura, 2010)
Serbia (Geopoetika)

For further information please visit the authors’ Foreign Rights website: Marcel Beyer.

Marcel Beyer