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ISBN 978-0-9557285-5-6
First published October 2008; 214 pp paperback with endpapers; 198 x 129 mm

£8.99
click here to read a pdf excerpt.
Gert Hofmann (1931–93) was ‘one of the finest 20th-century German writers, extraordinarily versatile, a writer of surprises’ (Irish Times). His other novels include The Parable of the Blind, The Film Explainer and Luck; Lichtenberg & The Little Flower Girl was his last novel.

Michael Hofmann
, the son of Gert, is a poet and the translator of works by Joseph Roth, Wolfgang Koeppen, Kafka, Brecht and others. His awards for translation include the Schlegel-Tieck Prize, the Independent Foreign Fiction Prize and the International IMPAC Dublin Award.
 
Gert Hofmann  Lichtenberg & The Little Flower Girl
translated by Michael Hofmann
 
‘Europe’s belated answer to Lolita
      – Gabriel Josipovici, TLS (International Books of the Year 2004)

Georg Christoph Lichtenberg (1742–99) – mathematician, physicist and compulsive scribbler – invites a thirteen-year-old flower seller to call on him at home. He is vain, pettish, frisky; she becomes his housekeeper, pupil and lover; and there blossoms, in this novel’s wry, playful imagining of the real-life romance between Lichtenberg and Maria Stechard, a rare but credible happiness.

‘Lovingly and crazily based on the life of the 18th-century German mathematician, who was a dandy despite having a hunchback, Gert Hofmann’s final book translated by his son is delightfully anarchic and imaginative in its exploration of an unlikely love found and lost.’
      – Eileen Battersby, Irish Times

‘It is somewhat flabbergasting that this has not been snapped up by a larger publisher. [Lichtenberg & The Little Flower Girl] is based on the real historical figure, the aphorist Georg Lichtenberg. A short, hunchbacked man, he had a beautiful mind and a witty and idiosyncratic way of expressing himself; and Gert Hofmann has captured this in a style – beautifully translated by Michael – which betokens wonder and innocence, attributes which are necessary if one is going to describe, as this novel does, the romance between a 35-year-old man and a 13-year-old girl. “It’s probably the zaniest, gloomiest and funniest thing you’ve read in a long time, if not ever,” says Michael Hofmann in his Afterword, and this isn’t idle boasting.’
      – Nicholas Lezard, Guardian

‘A fancy and a beauty . . . When comic novels are rarely done, and even more rarely done well, Lichtenberg & The Little Flower Girl is a breath of air, a carefully chaotic representation of real life through the prism of a fictionalised historical character.’
      – John Self, Asylum