All Along the Watchtower

There have been many favourable headlines about Navid Kermani over the years. Non-fiction or novels – Kermani has earned his reputation as one of the most gifted German writers of the 21st century.

Having written about refugees desperately trying to reach Europe in 2015 (“Einbruch der Wirklichkeit. Auf dem Flüchtlingstreck durch Europa”), Kermani has now travelled into the opposite direction.

Assigned by weekly magazine Der Spiegel, the Cologne-based journalist and novelist (“Ungläubiges Staunen. Über das Christentum”, “Sozusagen Paris”) went to Poland, Belarus and Ukraine. His destination: Isfahan in Iran, the hometown of his parents.

“Entlang der Gräben” offers many opportunities to think afresh about different political constellations and ethnic conflicts. With the change of atmosphere in mind after the widespread euphoria as Austria and Germany opened their borders for civil war refugees, the Kleist Award laureate debates topics like hardship and cultural tension as he encounters habitants of the embattled Donbass region and Grozny.

Entlang den Gräben. Eine Reise durch das östliche Europa bis nach Isfahan
By Navid Kermani
Published by C.H. Beck (www.chbeck.de)

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