My Father, the Germans and I

Essays, Lectures, Interviews

Jurek Becker

Jurek Becker

Distributed for Seagull Books

Edited by Christine Becker
200 pages | 5 x 8 1/2 | © 2010
Cloth $24.95 ISBN: 9781906497477 Published June 2010 World sales rights except India

Jürek Becker (1937–97) is best known for his novel Jacob the Liar, which follows the life of a man, who, like Becker, lived in the Lódz ghetto during the German occupation of Poland in World War II. Throughout his career, Becker also wrote nonfiction, and the essays, lectures, and interviews collected in My Father, the Germans and I share a common thread in that they each speak to Becker’s interactions with and opinions on the social, political, and cultural conditions of twentieth-century Germany.

Becker, who had lived in both German states and in unified Germany, was passionately and humorously active in the political debates of his time. Becker never directly aligned himself with either the political ideology of East Germany or the capitalist market forces of West Germany. The remains of fascism in postwar Germany, and the demise of Socialism, as well as racism and xenophobic violence, were topics that perpetually interested Becker. However, his writings, as evidenced in this collection, were never pedantic, but always entertaining, retaining the sense of humor that made his novels so admired.

My Father, the Germans and I gives expression to an exceptional author’s perception of himself and the world and to his tireless attempt to bring his own unique tone of linguistic brevity, irony, and balance to German relations.

 

Contents

Foreword

 

My Way of Being a Jew

Writers East and West

Resistance in Jakob der Lügner

On the Decline of Culture in Our Times

On the Value of Civil Rights

This is Unreliable Information

Marianna D. Birnbaum, University of California, in conversation with Jurek Becker

 

Is Socialism Over and Done With?

 

The State of Europe

 

The Invisible City

 

It Tales Two to Spy:  On the Way We Deal With the GDR Past

 

On the Tools of Writers

 

On Germany

 

The Centipede

 

It Is Like a Thunderstorm

 

Herlinde Koelbl in conversation with Jurek Becker

 

Acknowledgements

Biography

For more information, or to order this book, please visit http://www.press.uchicago.edu
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