A novel about love, responsibility and literature in an evocative setting of 1950s Germany.
Summer 1954: Thomas Mann comes to Düsseldorf, accompanied by his wife Katia, to read from 'Felix Krull', his new book that is turning into a bestseller. Staying at the same hotel is Klaus Heuser, on home leavve from Asia with his friend Anwar - a coincidence that will have unforeseen consequences. Mann had first met Klaus Heuser in 1927 and became deeply attached to him. Klaus is one of the great loves of his past, and the writer used him as a model for the figure of Joseph in his great tetralogy 'Joseph and His Brothers'.
The writer's visit to postwar Germany from his home in exile has already caused a commotion, and now the possibility of an encounter of the two men makes everyone even more nervous. Interspersed with these events are reflections on the eternal questions of literature - questions about fame and renunciation, about the artist's responsibilities and the price to be paid in his own life, about success and rank.
Hans Pleschinski has based his colourful yet subtle novel on actual events and previously unknown documents, creating unforgettable characters and making allusions to 'Lotte in Weimar'.
'No other German author can match Hans Pleschinski's mastery of dialogue; he gets the tone of conversations just right - weaving together many voices, playful and slightly ironic, rich in allusions and witticisms.'Süddeutsche Zeitung
'An unexpected literary lightning, an outrageously entertaining, outrageously clever novel.'Denis Scheck, Druckfrisch, ARD
'A great reading pleasure in the higher literary echelons.'Tilman Krause, Literarische WELT
born in 1956, is a freelance author living in Munich. His novels include Leichtes Licht (C.H. Beck, 2005), Ludwigshöhe (C.H. Beck, 2008) and Königsallee (C.H. Beck, 2013), which became a bestseller, and he has edited the letters of Madame de Pompadour, selections from the diary of Duke von Croÿ, and the memoirs of Else Sohn-Rethel. Most recently he has been awarded the Hannelore Greve Literature Prize (2006) and the Nicolas Born Prize (2008), among other honours, and in 2012 he was made a Chevalier des Arts et des Lettres by the Republic of France. In 2014 he was awarded the Literature Prize of the City of Munich and the Literature Prize of the Lower Rhein. Hans Pleschinski is a member of the Bavarian Academy of Arts.
'A clever play about sex and text, life and literature, homosexuality and hypocrisy.'Denis Scheck, Druckfrisch
'The beauty of this novel lies in Pleschinski's skilful presence of his characters where he masters the most difficult imaginable: to make the ever challenging easy.'Die ZEIT