Karlheinz Braun: At the Heart

Karlheinz Braun
At the Heart

Living with Authors

672 pp (261,000 words)

No one has lived and breathed the German-language theatrical world more intensively over the past sixty years than Karlheinz Braun. From the Frankfurt neue bühne (new stage) – with its first performances of everything from Günter Grass to Nelly Sachs – in 1959 he joined the publisher Suhrkamp Verlag, where he built up the theatre list, publishing works by Max Frisch, Peter Weiss and Martin Walser as well as Martin Sperr and Peter Handke.

Braun belonged to the legendary circle of editors who left Suhrkamp after the »Editors’ Uprising« and founded the publisher Verlag der Autoren (Author’s Publishing House), which developed over the following decades into the most important institution in Germany for authors of theatre and film. AT THE HEART tells this story, as well as those of hundreds of authors, including Botho Strauß, Dea Loher, Heiner Müller, Rainer Werner Fassbinder, Thea Dorn, Wim Wenders and F. K. Waechter.

Braun's memoirs are a passionate theatre insider’s perspective on a life lived among authors, their successes and defeats, and a sweeping eyewitness account of German theatre and film.


»A condensed cultural history of Germany from the end of the Second World War until the present. Written with gentle self-irony, entertaining, thought-provoking.«
Claus-Jürgen Göpfert, Frankfurter Rundschau

»A grand cultural tableau.«
Michael Hierholzer, Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung

»Introduces the theatre as the most important hub of life.«
Simon Strauß, Frankfurter Allgemeine Sonntagszeitung

»A treasure trove of historical references.«
Helmut Böttiger, Basler Zeitung

»A fascinating insight.«
Michael Raab, ekz Informationsdienst

»A refreshing combination of detailed autobiography (...) and a first-hand account of theatre history in the second half of the century.«
Martin Krumbholz, Theater der Zeit

»With subtle irony, Braun reminisces about a time when theatre was still regarded as the central authority within the aesthetic and political discourse.«
Jan-Christoph Hauschild, junge Welt

»Braun is a fighter for the theatre, a literary lion.«
Christian Muggenthaler, Landshuter Zeitung