Nominated by:

Stadtbibliothek Bremen, Germany

Publisher of nominated edition:

W. W. Norton, USA

Funeral for a Dog

Thomas Pletzinger    

Translated from the original German by Ross Benjamin

Journalist Daniel Mandelkern leaves Hamburg on assignment to interview Dirk Svensson, a reclusive children’s book author who lives alone on the Italian side of Lake Lugano with his three-legged dog. Mandelkern has been quarreling with his wife (who is also his editor); he suspects she has other reasons for sending him away. After stumbling on a manuscript of Svensson’s about a complicated ménage à trois, Mandelkern is plunged into mysteries past and present. Rich with anthropological and literary allusion, this prize-winning debut set in Europe, Brazil, and New York, tells the parallel stories of two writers struggling with the burden of the past and the uncertainties of the future.

Funeral for a Dog won the prestigious Uwe-Johnson Prize, and critics raved: “Pletzinger’s debut is a real smash hit. It’s been a long time since a young German writer has thrown himself into the hurly-burly of life and literature with so much intelligence and bravado” (Wolfgang Hobel, Der Spiegel).

(From Publisher)

About the Author

Born in 1975, Thomas Pletzinger has won several awards for his writing, including fellowships and teaching positions at the University of Iowa, New York University, and Grinnell College. He lives in Berlin.

Librarian’s Comments

Funeral for a Dog, the fascinating and inventive debut of Thomas Pletzinger, won the prestigious Uwe-Johnson Prize. This formally innovative and intellectual novel tells the old story of yearning for happiness and longing for love with linguistic finesse in a new way.

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