Volker Weidermann

Volker Weidermann, born in Darmstadt in 1969, studied politics and German studies in Heidelberg and Berlin. He began his career as a culture journalist before serving as literary director and editor of the Sunday edition of Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung. He is currently a writer and editor covering literature for Der Spiegel. Weidermann received the Kurt Tucholsky Prize for Literary Journalism for Buch der verbrannten Bcher (The Book of Burned Books) and is the author of several works of literary history and critical biography.

Represented on behalf of Kiepenheuer & Witsch.


Ostend: Stefan Zweig, Joseph Roth and the Summer before the Dark

"Light on its feet, a reverie in a way....[Weidermann] writes the book as a novel, almost, recreating scenes and channeling characters' thoughts....I enjoyed getting lost in the book's melodies." - Jennifer Senior, The New York Times

"Like Wes Anderson's Zubrowska in The Grand Budapest Hotel. . . . at once haunting and ornamental: an antique music-box of melancholic atmosphere. . . . A meditation on the act of creation, one that explores how we make refuges out of our own pasts." - Tara Isabella Burton, The New Republic

"Resonant. . . . As Europe tumbles towards darkness, the writers in Ostend create a haven for love and literature-one they know is doomed-that Weidermann evokes with skill and delicacy." - The Sunday Times (London)

"Breezier and more brightly written than a study of two profound minds in torment on the eve of global disaster should reasonably be; an enthralling, juicy read." - Big Issue

"A sign of how far [the revival of Zweig and Roth's work] has succeeded . . . a work of popular history very much like those Stefan Zweig used to write." - New Statesman

"Beautifully translated by Carol Brown Janeway . . . a short but vital calm-before-the-storm history, one that shines a valuable light on two of the 20th century's finest writers . . . rich in insight and empathy. This is a sparkling gem." - Malcolm Forbes, Minneapolis Star Tribune

"This is a marvelous book about many things - politics, love, identity, belonging - but at its heart is the story of a great and troubled friendship between two great and troubled writers. . . . SUMMER BEFORE THE DARK is literary biography at its best. Faithful to facts, it reads like a novel. With its elegiac atmosphere, extreme personalities, tense political backdrop and tragic central relationships, it would make a terrific film - Death in Venice with more sex, more booze, more action and considerably more conversation." - Rebecca Abrams, Financial Times

"Volker Weidermann magically evokes the mood of these artistic refugees as the sun set on the civilized order of Europe. . . . Ostend, which has been marvelously translated by Carol Brown Janeway, abounds in poetry and deadpan understatement. . . .The dissonance between the writers' languid summer and the utter ruthlessness of what awaits gives OSTEND a dream-like quality. The book is as transporting as fiction-I had to remind myself that it wasn't as I read. Partly this is due to the level of detail. Mr. Weidermann knows which café each writer favored, what they drank, which manuscripts they read aloud. It could be Hemingway." - Roger Lowenstein, The Wall Street Journal

" Weidermann evokes a remarkable sense of spirit and place . . . . Ostend is a beautiful jewel of a book; an all-too-brief breath of the rarefied air of another era. If that summer at Ostend revitalized Zweig and Roth and all the others against the coming of the dark, so too Weidermann's stirring account of it revitalizes the contemporary reader 80 years later." - Popmatters