English sample translation by Anthea Bell available
Maxim Biller has written the most Jewish, most American, and funniest novel of the present day in Germany
This is the crazy story of Soli and Noah, best friends and almost brothers ever since their bar mitzvah in the Hamburg synagogue in 1976, linked by their origin, their sense of humour and their bizarre sexual fantasies – and both involved in a grotesque tale of blackmail and abduction on a global scale.
Soli Karubiner, a writer and the narrator of this epoch-making novel, leaves Germany for Prague when he causes a scandal in a sauna, and a young German writer threatens to post the video recording of the incident online. Meanwhile, millionaire’s son Noah Forlani, who is determined to run through his inheritance, induces the Hollywood star Gerry “El Dick” Harper to get involved in an arthouse video – in which Noah himself plays the part of Joseph Goebbels, naked, of course. While there is an abduction during the shooting of the video in the Sudan, back in Prague Soli has to stand up to his hysterical and possessive Jewish family, and sees no escape from this oedipal super-drama but flight to Tel Aviv. From there, he goes on with Noah to Buczacz, the place of origin of both their families, and gets on the trail of the secret of his inscrutable father, an ex-communist, businessman and double agent.
A unique book: never before has there been anything in German literature like this novel, with its themes of development, love, the lives of artists, families, post-reunification Germany, tension, the homeland and the Holocaust. Fast-moving, epic, full of dialogue, and for all the gravity of its subjects very funny.
“Maxim Biller can write. Boy, can he write. Biography is the Great German Jewish novel we have been waiting for: angry, sad, melancholic and very funny. Read Biography - seriously, read it!“ Daniel Kehlmann
“What a book! I am full of admiration for Maxim Biller’s narrative vitality; not many writers have it. It positively leaps out at the reader. Congratulations; I know of nothing comparable.” Elfriede Jelinek
“Incredibly clever, comic on a world-record plane, disturbingly honest. Maxim Biller is a writer who will leave no one cold.” Etgar Keret
release: 30. March 2016
896 pages, gebunden mit SU
- 29,99 €
- 0,00 sFr
- 30,90 €
Netherlands: Leesmagazijn (Option)
About the Author
Maxim Biller, born in Prague in 1960, has lived in Germany since 1970. His publications to date include Die Tochter [The Daughter], the collections of stories Wenn ich einmal reich und tot bin [When I am Rich and Dead], Land der Väter und Verräter [Land of our Fathers and Betrayers], and Bernsteintage [Amber Days]. His novel Esra was legally banned from publication and is therefore not available at present. He is a columnist on the Sunday edition of the Frankfurter Allgemeine and Die Zeit. His volume of short stories, Liebe heute (2007), was published in the USA as Love Today. Recently the novella, Im Kopf von Bruno Schulz, 2013, [Inside the Head of Bruno Schulz] has been published in English. Since October 2015, Biller has been a member of the panel of literary critics on the new Literarisches Quartett TV programme.