Monday, August 16, 2010

Einstein at home

Today I received my third batch of reviews from Germany. Das Einstein Mädchen (the German edition of The Einstein Girl) has been on the official Der Spiegel bestseller list for the past seven weeks, which I put down to an excellent translation by Sophie Zeitz and to the voluminous press coverage. The latter has included a feature on Deutschland Radio, and long reviews in Germany’s No.1 circulation daily, Süddeutsch Zeitung as well as the leading weekly news magazine Focus. In addition, there have been reviews, sometimes syndicated, in dozens of local and regional newspapers, as well as literary web sites of all kinds across the German-speaking world. The reading public have chipped in with 92 reviews on the decidedly frank Vorablesen site (and 530 reviews of the opening chapters). Whether this is typical or not, I cannot say. But I do know that such coverage is extremely rare in the UK, unless the book in question is authored by a household name. I was told that fiction is still considered newsworthy in Germany, and so it has proved. In any event, I’m hugely impressed by the publicity department at DTV. Their wonderfully slick and elegant web site promises a lot, but in my case they have certainly delivered.

That said, having enjoyed seven weeks in the bestseller sunshine, I’ll certainly count myself lucky if I can hang on for another two. The Einstein Girl is not, by modern standards, an easy book; and we are living in the age when easy books definitely rule, even in Germany.

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