A schoolboy in post-war Germany, Michael Berg has a secretive affair with an older woman, Hanna. He learns little about her, but is shocked and somehow guilty when she simply disappears. Some years later, as a law student, Michael is in court to follow a major case. To his amazement he recognises Hanna as one of the defendants. Her attitude during the trial is bizarre, as she allows herself be presented as the ringleader of her co-defendants and seems to be wilfully mishandling her defence. Michael suddenly understands that her behaviour conceals a secret buried deeper even than her terrible crimes. The past of their relationship and of Germany trap Michael for the rest of his life, haunted by the memories of a relationship that he cannot move beyond and by the dilemma of an entire generation. Bernhard Schlink was born in 1944. He is a Professor of Law at the University of Berlin.
Meet our judging panel for 2024 Dublin Literary Award
VideoJune 2 2023
Highlights from the 2023 Dublin Literary Award Ceremony
Katja Oskamp and translator Jo Heinrich win the prize for Marzahn, Mon Amour.
VideoMay 26 2023
2023 Award Winners in Conversation with Rick O’Shea
Author, Katja Oskamp and translator, Jo Heinrich in conversation.
VideoMay 25 2023
Flowers Say it Better, Love – A poem by Sarah Creighton Keogh
Commissioned for the 2023 Dublin Literary Award Ceremony.