What a treat for #germanlitmonth! A Riveting German extravaganza at The British Library, which saw Rosie Goldsmith moderate 3 German authors and 3 German translators about the continuing resonance of the Fall of the Wall and the state of German literature in general.

The enticement that lured me out of my Scottish lair, however, was the appearance of Nino Haratischvili, author of The Eighth Life. If you follow my twitter feed, you’ll already know how much I love this novel, and that I read its 944 pages in just 11 days! Also that I read it incredibly early – I named it my Book of the Month in September. But no review to date. The reason for that is simple. I was keeping it under wraps until it was published in The German Riveter.


And there is Nino Haratischvili reading my review! This could have been an embarrassing moment. But no chance of that, when I pronounce her novel my book of the year! (And I’m not being presumptuous. Honestly, nothing’s going to touch it.) However, The Eighth Life was a challenge to review in just 500 words. The review took me almost as long to write as the novel to read!

At some stage The German Riveter will appear online on The European Literary Network, but until then, hopefully you can read my review from this photograph.


The whole event was filmed and that will also be made available on YouTube at some point in the future. So I won’t say anything more for now. Impatient ones might want to check out Marina Sofia’s post. I will leave you with a few photos from the night and this rallying call. If you read only one German novel this year, or even next, read The Eighth Life. It is brilliant! (And if a slew of translation prizes are not forthcoming next year, the judges and I will be having words.)

The Billboard
Rosie Goldsmith introducing …
Authors L to R: Julia Franck, Durs Grünbein, Nino Haratischvili
Interviewing Nino Haratischvili
Translators L to R: Ruth Martin, Charlotte Collins, Karen Leeder
The Reading: Author flanked by her two translators