Bernhard Schlink, author of 'The Reader,' to speak at Brandeis on Feb. 3

Film adaptation of the German writer's story up for five Academy Awards, including Best Picture

Bernhard Schlink

Rapaporte Treasure Hall
Feb. 3, 2009
3 p.m.

On Tuesday, Feb. 3, the Center for German and European Studies at Brandeis will present a reading by best-selling German author Bernhard Schlink. He will read from his novel, “Der Vorleser” ("The Reader"). The film adaptation starring Kate Winslett and Ralph Finnes was recently nominated for five Academy Awards, including Best Picture.

Bernhard Schlink was born in Bielefeld, Germany in 1944. Although he has made a name for himself as a fiction writer, he was originally trained as a lawyer, and in 1988 he became the Judge at the Constitutional Court of the German state Nordheim-Westfalen. During the reunification of Germany in 1989 he moved to Berlin, where he aided in the development of an interim constitution for the German Democratic Republic. Today, he teaches law at Humboldt University in Berlin and the Benjamin M. Cardozo School of Law in New York. 

Schlink’s legal background is reflected in many of his works, especially "The Reader," which is partly an autobiographical novel. In the book, a teenage boy has an affair with a woman in her 30s. The woman vanishes, but many years later, as a law student attending a war crimes trial, he meets her again and discovers her unsettling past. The book became a bestseller both in Germany and the United States and was translated into 39 languages. It was the first German book to reach number one on the New York Times bestseller list.

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