Judith Hermann


Judith Hermann

Judith Hermann was born in West Berlin in 1970. She began graduate work in German literature and philosophy but did not complete her degree. She then received her diploma at the Berlin School of Journalism. Judith Hermann’s literary breakthrough came with her short story collection Sommerhaus, später (Summerhouse, later). This volume offered “the sound of a new generation,” according to the literary critic Hellmuth Karasek in his discussion of the attitude towards life held by artists living in Berlin in the 1990s. Even Marcel Reich-Ranicki reviewed the book positively on his television show Das literarische Quartett. The book sold extremely well and turned Judith Hermann from a waitress into a successful writer.

Looking back on the enormous success of Sommerhaus, später, Judith Hermann said in an interview with the Süddeutschen Zeitung, “I think the success made me even more careful than I had always been. And my life became more isolated through writing and in many aspects freer. More independent.” The characters in her story collection were all rather similar at the time—“disoriented, serious, idealistic, and overtired.” How the author thinks and feels today is what readers will discover in her most recent book. In her new book, Wir hätten uns alles gesagt (We Would Have Told Each Other Everything), comprised of her Frankfurt Poetic Lectures, she talks about her writing and her life, about what holds writing and life together and what binds them.

Wir hätten uns alles gesagt. Frankfurter Poetikvorlesungen. S. Fischer 2023
Daheim. Roman. S. Fischer 2021
Sommerhaus, später. Erzählungen. S. Fischer 1998


28th Leukerbad International Literary Festival: 6.21.–23.2024