Features » Literature


Michael Köhlmeier's novel "Occident"

Michael Köhlmeier: Occident (Abendland)
Hardcover | 784 pages | ISBN 9783446209138 | August 2007 | Hanser Verlag

English excerpt

The Book: Carl Jacob Candoris – 59-year-old mathematician, cosmopolitan, dandy and jazz fan – lays bare his life in this turbulent, touching history of the 20th century.

Sebastian Lukasser is a writer and the son of guitarist Georg Lukasser, whom Carl Jacob Candoris first befriended in the jazz clubs of post-war Vienna and supported until the musician’s sad demise. Blending his own story with the life of the eccentric Carl Jacob, Sebastian traces a fascinating panorama, as an entire century is mirrored in the history of two very different families. Candoris tells of his grandfather who ran a famous grocer’s shop in Vienna and of the strange relatives he stayed with during his studies in Göttingen – where he also met distinguished scientists he would reencounter, years later, in Los Alamos, as “the fathers of the atom bomb”. He tells of the War and Europe’s destruction and the post-war years, when Sebastian’s own story begins. In this interweaving of art and life, of great historical crimes and private responses, of political and personal hopes, the spirits and demons of an entire epoch are illuminated. Rarely has an author presented such a wise and rich novel about our complex lives and times.

Sales to Foreign Countries:
"Dein Zimmer für mich allein": France (Maurice Nadeau)

Photo: Udo Leitner © Deuticke im Paul Zsolnay VerlagPhoto: Udo Leitner © Deuticke im Paul Zsolnay Verlag
The author: Michael Köhlmeier, born 1949, studied German literature and political science in Marburg and philosophy and mathematics in Gießen. He is the recipient of many literary awards and lives as a freelance writer in the rural Hohenems and urban Vienna. "Abendland" was issued by Hanser in a first edition of 50,000 copies. - let's talk european