Kaltenburg by Marcel Beyer

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"Challenging, beautifully written "--Library Journal

Hailed by The New Yorker as one of the best young novelists and recipient of Germany’s most prestigious literary awards, Marcel Beyer returns with a brilliantly wrought novel that brings to life both an individual and a whole world: the zoologist Ludwig Kaltenburg, loosely based on Nobel Prize–winner Konrad Lorenz, and his institute for research into animal behavior.

Hermann Funk first meets Kaltenburg when still a child in Posen in the 1930s. Hermann’s father, a botanist, and Kaltenburg are close friends, but a rift occurs. In 1945, fleeing the war, the Funks perish in the Dresden bombing, and Hermann finds his way to Kaltenburg’s newly established institute. He becomes Kaltenburg’s protégé, embracing the Institute’s unconventional methods. Yet parts of Kaltenburg’s past life remain unclear. Was he a member of the Nazi Party? Does he believe his discoveries about aggression in animals also apply to humans? Why has he erased the years in Posen from his official biography?

Through layers of memory and experience Hermann struggles to reconcile affection and doubt, to make sense of his childhood, even as he meets a woman with family secrets of her own

About Marcel Beyer

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MARCEL BEYER was born and raised in Cologne. The author of several novels and collections of poems, he has received numerous awards and was named one of the best young novelists in the world by the New Yorker. He lives in Dresden. John Brownjohn is a prize-winning translator and works with Roman Polanski.
Published April 17, 2012 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt. 357 pages
Genres: History, Education & Reference, Literature & Fiction. Fiction

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Hermann Funk’s destiny is ordained when the scared child notices that the bird, a swift, trapped in his living room has legs, contrary to popular belief;

Mar 21 2012 | Read Full Review of Kaltenburg

Washington Independent Review of Books

Kaltenburg later tells Funk “how he had always shrunk from certain people, certain places, as though scared of being exposed to a pathogen for which there was no effective remedy.” Evidently the friendship broke up because Kaltenburg needed to dissociate himself from the doomed Jews and disapprov...

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Bookmarks Magazine

Publisher: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Product Description "Challenging, beautifully written "--Library Journal

Hailed by The New Yorker as one of the best young novelists and recipient of Germany’s...

Jun 25 2012 | Read Full Review of Kaltenburg

Full Stop

Flight — the relationship between heft and lift — underpins Marcel Beyer’s retelling of the Konrad Lorenz story, Kaltenburg.

May 11 2012 | Read Full Review of Kaltenburg

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