Markus Orths: Figments

Lower Rhine Literature Award

Markus Orths


160pp (27,500 words)

>> author of the bestselling novels LEHRERZIMMER (over 140.000 sold copies in hardcover and paperback) and DAS ZIMMERMÄDCHEN (sold into 9 languages)

A young writer tries desperately to write his second novel. His name is Kranich, the English and German teacher known to the reader from the bestseller LEHRERZIMMER. After publishing his school experiences, Kranich fails: Write, Machine!, a bitter reckoning with the literary industry, is rejected by the publisher »V«.

Kranich finds shelter with his aunt Erna. He has a brilliant idea and prepares for a great success. But then his pregnant sister Tamara comes to stay with him, and instead of writing, Kranich falls into the confusion of critical commentaries, into self-doubt and 28-hour days. To earn money as quickly as possible, he needs a »literary quickie.« Perhaps Sebastian Pfeifer can help him, a neuroscientist who attempts by means of transcranial magnetic stimulation to give Kranich’s brain a tune-up.

A wonderfully grotesque farce about an author’s dark side: corrupted by the literary industry, full of delusions of grandeur and hidden complexes, the craving for approval and the desperate wish to create something sublime – brilliantly witty, a fireworks display of self-irony and a merciless unmasking of that which is capable of making an industry out of human beings.

»An outstanding author.«
New Books in German

»Markus Orths masters the full spectrum of literary form. (...) Comically grotesque, subtly perceptive, or factually reporting, Markus Orths is a narrator of impressive style, a language artist. A lot more is to be expected from this fine writer.«
Lower Rhine Literature Award, the Jury

Rights sold

audio book - Audiobuch

Previously published (rights reverted)
France - Liana Levi
paperback - Random House/btb

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»A subtle feat on the fringe of slapstick, farce, persiflage and literature (business).«
Süddeutsche Zeitung

»A light and entertaining, summer read making for some quirky scenes – what more could one ask for?«
Nürnberger Nachrichten

»A pleasurable and very readable satire on the literary business, a family life not voluntarily chosen, and on those who are determined to write – yet fail.«
Wiesbadener Kurier

»Droll, high-wired, and full of irony.«

»A delightful satire on authors, publishers and their readers. (...) Markus Orths boosts his story with verve, and with a keen sense of the absurd. He is a writer of many talents, a master of the satire. This book is for the big screen.«
Sächsische Zeitung

»Well-seasoned with a good measure of irony. With a light stroke of feather and the right amount of humour, Orths has written a parody on all the wannabe-Kafkas and wannabe-Dostojewskis, those bothersome, unrecognized whiz kids.«
Antenne Brandenburg

»Orths ironically pictures a writer’s attempts at survival within the literary business.«
Mitteldeutsche Zeitung

More titles by Markus Orths

Markus Orths: CorpusMarkus Orths: Who Walks Where Behind the Coffin?Markus Orths: The ChambermaidMarkus Orths: The Staff RoomMarkus Orths: CatalinaMarkus Orths: Escape AttemptsMarkus Orths: The Magic CapMarkus Orths: Enough`s EnoughMarkus Orths: Alpha & Omega