Friday, 23 January 2009

Berlin Publishing: Arrivals and Departures

Speculation is rife over the future location of the Suhrkamp publishing house. Now one German paper has claimed negotiations are underway for a move from Frankfurt to Berlin, while the managing director is keeping pretty schtumm, neither confirming nor denying anything.

They already have a terribly tasteful "representation" in Berlin's Fasanenstraße, which I visited last year. And as the Süddeutsche Zeitung suggests, relocation against the wishes of 80% of the staff would be a great way to cut human resources costs. Plus Berlin, only rescued by the scruff of its neck from the mires of post-industrialisation by the government's relocation a few years ago, would have a bit of high culture to show for itself.

But the real news for me is that Galiani Berlin now has an office - although apparently not a website. A new imprint under the aegis of Kiepenheuer & Witsch and run by the inimitable Wolfgang Hörner, its motto is "Interested in everything and never boring". Sounds good, eh? I stumbled across the new premises at the very top of Friedrichstraße on my way to the baker's one morning. Not that I usually scrutinise doorbell panels at 8 am you understand, but there was a large yellow sign on the door instructing the man from Deutsche Telekom where to ring. The first actual books will be published this coming autumn.

Hörner left Eichborn Berlin with its excellent contemporary German authors along with Esther Kormann to set up the new house, and has been replaced by Laurenz Bollinger. Sadly, Bollinger will be based in - you guessed it - Frankfurt.

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