Wahre Geschichten aus Los Angeles
First day of sale: 13.01.2016
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.
Rights to Gegen die Welt sold to: Bompiani (Italian), Seagul Books (English World)
Jan Brandt, born in 1974 in Leer (East Frisia), studied history and literature in Cologne, London and Berlin, and attended the German School of Journalism in Munich. His novel ‘Gegen die Welt’ (Against the World), DuMont 2011, was shortlisted for the German Book Prize and awarded the Nicolas Born Debut Novel Prize. DuMont also published his novels ‘Tod in Turin’ (Death in Turin), 2015, and ‘Stadt ohne Engel’ (City Without Angels), 2016.