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Christoph Hein

Born April 8, 1944 (1944-04-08) (age 65)
Heinzendorf, now Jasienica, Lower Silesian Voivodeship, Poland
Occupation Novelist, Translator, Essayist
Nationality German
Writing period 1980–present
Notable award(s) Heinrich Mann Prize

Erich Fried Prize

Solothurner Literaturpreis

Austrian State Prize for European Literature
Official website

Christoph Hein (born April 8, 1944) is a German author and translator. Christoph Hein grew up in the village Bad Düben near Leipzig. Being a clergyman's son and thus not allowed to attend the Erweiterte Oberschule, he received secondary education at a gymnasium in the western part of Berlin.[1] After his Abitur he jobbed inter alia as assembler, bookseller and assistant director.[1] From 1967 to 1971 Hein studied philosophy in Leipzig and Berlin. Upon graduation he became dramatic adviser at the Volksbühne in Berlin, where he worked a resident writer from 1974.[1] Since 1979 Hein has worked as a freelance writer.

Hein first became known for his 1982 novella Der fremde Freund (The Distant Lover). From 1998 to 2000 Hein was the first president of the pan-German PEN-Centre.[1]


  • Die Witwe des Maurers (1980)
  • Frank, eine Kindheit mit Vätern (narrative, 1980)
  • Einladung zum Lever Bourgeois (narratives, 1980)
  • Cromwell und andere Stücke (plays, 1981)
  • Der fremde Freund (novella, 1982, in Western Germany: Drachenblut, English translation The Distant Lover)
  • Die wahre Geschichte des Ah Q (play, 1982)
  • Das Wildpferd unterm Kachelofen (children's book, 1984)
  • Horns Ende (novel, 1985)
  • Schlötel oder Was solls (play, 1986)
  • Öffentlich arbeiten (essays and interviews, 1987)
  • Passage - ein Kammerspiel in drei Akten (play, 1987)
  • Die Ritter der Tafelrunde (play, 1989)
  • Der Tangospieler (narrative, 1989, English translation The Tango Player)
  • Als Kind habe ich Stalin gesehen (essays and speeches, 1990)
  • Das Napoleon-Spiel (novel, 1993)
  • Exekution eines Kalbes und andere Erzählungen (narratives, 1994)
  • Randow - eine Komödie (play, 1994)
  • Von allem Anfang an (autobiography, 1997)
  • Willenbrock (novel, 2000, made into a movie in 2005, English translation Willenbrock)
  • Mama ist gegangen (children's novel, 2003)
  • Landnahme (novel, 2004, English translation "Settlement" to be published November 2008)
  • In seiner frühen Kindheit ein Garten (novel, 2005)
  • Frau Paula Trousseau (novel 2007)




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