The Bad Salute

  • A novel in the tradition of Gogol and Joseph Roth
  • Recommended by New Books in German (Fall 2021)
  • Complete English translation by Damion Searls available
  • Translation rights via Literarische Agentur Michael Gaeb on behalf of Kiwi

Maxim Biller shows how good political literature can be today

Erck Dessauer is young, talented, and ready to become a great writer. Which isn’t easy in Berlin in the aughts, because confirmed cliques divide the power among themselves, and envy is another word for luck. And one in particular seems to have it in for Erck.

When Erck signs a book contract with the best publishing house in the country, he’s almost there. If only it weren’t for Hans Ulrich Barsilay with his flamboyant appearance, beautiful ex-girlfriends, perfect prose, and lack of conscience. The problem is, he’s with the same publisher. And many signs point to the fact that he’s trying to steal Erck’s topic. High time to foil him with a scheme.

Maxim Biller tells the story of a man who goes mad over Germany because he wants to get in at all costs: into society, into the spotlight, into the Valhalla of the newly reunited nation. The Wrong Salute is a scathing study of opportunism, new nationalism, and the things you have to be allowed to say again.

Praised in reviews by Die Zeit, FAZ and Süddeutsche among others.

Contact Foreign Rights
Sample Translations
Rights sold to

Greece: Patakis, Netherlands: Leesmagazijn, Turkey: Livera

  • Publisher: Kiepenheuer&Witsch
  • Release: 19.08.2021
  • 128 pages
  • ISBN: 978-3-462-00082-5
Book Cover
Der falsche Gruß
Linda Rosa Saal

Maxim Biller

Maxim Biller was born in Prague in 1960 and has been living in Germany since 1970. His bestselling novel Six Suitcases was shortlisted for the German Book Prize 2018. His books have been translated into a total of 16 languages.