STADT OHNE ENGEL. Wahre Geschichten aus Los Angeles/
CITY WITHOUT ANGELS. True Stories from Los Angeles
Non-Fiction, Ca. 300 pp., Spring 2016
An American myth as you have never heard it told
The Legend and the People of a City in 1000 Facets
Los Angeles is the city of dreams, of fulfilled and unfulfilled desires. No city in the world is as omnipresent in the media. No city produces so many myths and legends. And no city can be as hard, brutal and destructive. L.A. is a place where what you see is what you get, and yet it seems to be constantly hiding, escaping our scrutiny. Jan Brandt has written a work of art: he manages to really grasp the City of Angels. His book tells stories of people from the most varied occupational groups and layers of society. Of writers, star chefs, actors, film makers, watchmen, gangster rappers, skaters, artists, singers and collectors ¬– of people who want to strive for more, to achieve their goal of living the American dream in spite of the obstacles in their paths.
It’s always an encounter that marks the beginning of the author’s search for clues. And that is where the fascination of these texts lies. They switch elegantly between the personal story and the literary experience. Jan Brandt proves that he is not only an extraordinary observer and an obsessive researcher, but ¬– and this foremost – a master of approaching people, a conversationalist, a casual kind of spy. In spite of the close proximity that he has to the people and the place, there is always that irritation: the foreign point of view – our view of this strange cosmos, though it seems known to us, remains foreign.
City without Angels collects literary investigations, critiques and essays, and cuts police reports to poetry with a touch of irony. Personal encounters and observations meld with newspaper articles, Twitter posts, reader comments and Facebook messages, to create a collective urban noise. These texts will always be strong narratives because they are cut from the material of reality. Exciting work in finely composed and tuned contexts.
It’s a kaleidoscope that lets all of the facets of Los Angeles and its people shine.
Jan Brandt born in 1974 in Leer (East Friesland), he studied history and literature in Cologne, London and Berlin and attended the Deutsche Journalistenschule in Munich. His novel “Gegen die Welt” was published in 2011, made it onto the short list of the Deutsche Buchpreis and won the Nicolas Born debut novel award. His second book “Tod in Turin” was published in 2015.
Rights to Gegen die Welt sold to: Bompiani (Italian), Seagul Books (English World)
Jan Brandt, geboren 1974 in Leer (Ostfriesland), studierte Geschichte und Literaturwissenschaft in Köln, London und Berlin und besuchte die Deutsche Journalistenschule in München. Sein Roman ›Gegen die Welt‹ (DuMont 2011) stand auf der Shortlist des Deutschen Buchpreises und wurde mit dem Nicolas-Born- Debütpreis ausgezeichnet. Zuletzt erschien ›Tod in Turin‹ (DuMont 2015).