JOHN VON DÜFFEL
DER BRENNENDE SEE /
THE BURNING LAKE
A Novel, ca. 300 pp. Spring 2020
English sample available!
Who would have thought that the clouds would become scarce?
For the first time, the water specialist of German literature deals with the societal aspects of water as a scarce resource, and as an economic and political factor.
"A small lake, a dead old man and the revolt of the young: John von Düffel cleverly pro-cesses lust for swimming, loss of parents and fear of climate change into a great contem-porary novel. [...] Düffel never lapses into an apocalyptic furor, and yet the fear of climate change and the resulting distortions between the generations has deeply inscribed itself in his novel." Christian Buß, Der Spiegel
“Von Düffel (...) cleverly and subtly interweaves the different levels of action with each other: the daughter's inheritance conflict reflects the overriding question of what a society leaves to future generations.” Maike Schiller, Hamburger Abendblatt
A generational novel on the burning issue of our time
Hannah, daughter of a writer, returns to the city of her childhood after her father's death. She is little interested in his legacy. But when Hannah takes her first steps to dissolve the deceased's apartment, she finds a photograph of an unknown woman on his deathbed. In the shimmering heat of another record-breakingly dry April, Hannah sets out in search of clues with this picture. Soon she has to realize that not only the familiar landscape of her childhood dissolves into dust and smoke. All the images of the past slip away from her, not least that of her father. When she then comes across the Fridays-for-Future activist Julia, who has radicalized herself in a questionable way in her fight for climate justice, she realizes that in the end her father was closer to this young woman than to her. She may even be the true daughter of the writer ...
John von Düffel was born in Göttingen in 1966. He currently works as a dramatic advisor for the German Theater Berlin, and is a professor for scenic writing at the University of the Arts Berlin. DuMont published his novels “Vom Wasser” (1998), “Zeit des Verschwindens” (2000), “Ego” (2001), “Houwelandt” (2004), “Beste Jahre” (2007), “Goethe ruft an” (2011), “KL – Gespräch über die Unsterblichkeit” (2015), „Klasssenbuch“ (2017), "Der brennende See" (2020) his collection of stories „Wassererzählungen“ (2014) as well as the essay “Wovon ich schreibe” (2009) and the novella “Hotel Angst” (2010). Among other awards, John von Düffel received the 2006 Nicolas Born Prize.