Berlin Tales

ISBN : 9780199559381

Helen Constantine; Lyn Marven
256 Pages
128 x 196 mm
Pub date
Jun 2009
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  • Evocative stories from contemporary and twentieth-century Berlin that will enchant the visitor and armchair traveller alike
  • Photographs, a map, and a timeline will complement the stories and create a literary tour of Berlin
  • Includes some stories translated for the first time - and showcases the best new writing from the boom in German short stories
  • Provides new perspectives on German history through the twentieth century

Berlin Tales is a collection of seventeen translated stories associated with Berlin. The book provides a unique insight into the mind of this fascinating city through the eyes of its story-tellers. 
Nearly twenty years after the fall of the Berlin Wall, the stories collected here reflect on the city's fascinating recent history, setting out with the early twentieth-century Berlin of Siegfried Kracauer and Alfred Döblin and culminating in an excellent selection of stories from the best of the new voices in the current boom in German fiction. They are chosen for their conscious exploration of the city's image, meaning, and attraction to immigrants and tourists as well as Berliners from both sides of the Wall. These stories also depict Berlin's distinct districts, not just the differences between East and West but also iconic sites such as Alexanderplatz, individual neighbourhoods (Jewish Mitte, Turkish Kreuzberg) and individual streets. 
There is an introduction and notes to accompany the stories and a selection of Further Reading. Each story is illustrated with a striking photograph and there is a map of Berlin and its transport system (a frequent motif). There is an introduction and notes to accompany the stories and a selection of Further Reading. The book will appeal to people who love travelling or are armchair travellers, as much as to those who love Berlin.


1: 'Aus dem Fenster gesehen' (Seen From the Window), Siegfried Kracauer
2: 'Östlich um den Alexanderplatz' (East of Alexanderplatz), Alfred Döblin
3: excerpt from 'Spazieren in Berlin' (A Flaneur in Berlin), Franz Hessel
4: 'Berlin, November 1947', Max Frisch
5: 'Berliner Stadtbahn' (Berlin S-Bahn), Uwe Johnson
6: 'Alltägliche Geschichte einer Berliner Straße' (Everyday Story of a Berlin Street), Günter Kunert
7: 'Berlin, Große Hamburger' (Große Hamburger Street), Günter de Bruyn
8: 'Geburtsort Berlin' (Place of Birth: Berlin), Monika Maron
9: 'Mein Berlin' (My Berlin), Emine Sevgi Özdamar
10: 'Sommerzeit' (Summertime), Durs Grünbein
11: 'Besetzer' (Squatters), Inka Bach
12: 'Rest Esplanade' (The Remains of the Hotel Esplanade), Annett Gröschner
13: 'Das Herz der Republik' (The Heart of the Republic), Fridolin Schley
14: 'Berlin ist mein Paris' (Berlin is my Paris), Carmen Francesca Banciu
15: 'fraktionen' (factions), Katrin Röggla
16: 'Stadtführer Berlin' (Berlin Guide), Wladimir Kaminer
17: 'Gina Regina', Ulrike Draesner

About the author: 

Edited by Helen Constantine
Translated by Lyn Marven
Siegfried Kracauer
Alfred Döblin
Franz Hessel
Max Frisch
Uwe Johnson
Günter Kunert
Günter de Bruyn
Monika Maron
Emine Sevgi Özdamar
Durs Grünbein
Inka Bach
Annett Gröschner
Fridolin Schley
Carmen Francesca Banciu
Katrin Röggla
Wladimir Kaminer
Ulrike Draesner

"These seventeen stories traverse the effervescent city of Berlin, both past and present, in such a beguiling way - that one's compelled to not only read more, but investigate the city for real." - David Marx, David Marx: Book Reviews

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