And Other Stories will publish near-simultaneously in UK in September and November this year three books in three genres by Lutz Seiler. Namely: Seiler’s prize-winning second novel Star 111, a volume of essays entitled In Case of Loss and his era-defining poetry collection Pitch & Glint.
Here’s what our publisher, Stefan Tobler, had to say on the acquisition:
We all had lockdown reading epiphanies, and Seiler’s novel Star 111 and then his poetry and essays were undoubtedly mine. It was orientation, my lodestar, in all the chaos. I’d go back whenever I could to listen to more of the German audiobook of Star 111 and its story of a young man who, shortly after the fall of the Berlin Wall, heads for Berlin and pursues his dream of becoming a poet, finding a den in the company of a crafty pack of anarchist squatters. While never precious or overly ‘poetic’, Seiler’s novel, and all his writing, has a unique, unmistakable sound. I was entranced.
I felt compelled to simultaneously publish three of Seiler’s books, in three genres, because each genre gives us a different style, a new facet.
And two of the books represent firsts for our list: Star 111 will be the first novel we’ve published by a German writer, in fact. I know I’ve been pickier than I should have been, as a reader and translator of German myself. In my opinion, it is the best novel of the reunification period. Meanwhile, Pitch & Glint will be the first collection of poetry on our list. (Though no doubt not the last. The plan was always to add poetry to our publishing once we got our press on a firm financial footing – we’ve given up on that chimera, but not on poetry.)
About the books:
Star 111 (Novel)
November 1989. The Berlin Wall has just fallen when the East German couple Inge and Walter set out for life in the West. Their son Carl heads to Berlin where he discovers anarchy, love and poetry. Winner of the prestigious Leipzig Book Fair Prize and a bestseller in German already with 150,000 copies sold, Star 111, musical and incantatory, tells of the search for authentic existence and also of a family exploded by political change which must find its way back together. A first translation into French has already been a finalist for two prizes, including being shortlisted for the 2022 Prix Femina.
Translated into English by Tess Lewis.
Pitch & Glint (Poetry)
On its original publication in 2000, Pitch and Glint was widely hailed as a landmark in German poetry. Rooted in Seiler’s childhood home, a village brutally undermined by Soviet uranium extraction, these propulsive poems are highly personal, cadenced, cryptic andearthy, evoking European history with undeniable force. With this collection, he became one of Germany’s most highly regarded poets. Along with the very different poet Durs Grünbein, he’s seen as the major poet of the last generation that grew up in East Germany (the GDR).
Translated into English by Stefan Tobler.
In Case of Loss (essays)
In Case of Loss reveals Seiler’s essays to be different to, but on a par with, his fiction and poetry. Beautifully anecdotal and associative, they throw a light on literature and his East German background, including the Soviet-era mining community he grew up in, and are full of insight, humanity and an attention to overlooked objects and lives.
Translated by Martyn Crucefix.