Wednesday, October 20, 2021
Award-winning German writer Ulla Lenze makes her American debut with The Radio Operator, a taut and engrossing historical novel that draws on a forgotten, but contemporarily relevant, chapter from the past: pro-fascist activity among German immigrants in the United States during the years leading up to World War II. Based largely on the true story of Lenze’s great-uncle, the deft narrative—translated by Marshall Yarbrough, who will interview Lenze during this session—bookends the war years as Josef Klein, a German immigrant who arrived in New York in the 1920s, is reluctantly conscripted as an operative for a spy ring of American Nazi sympathizers. Ulla Lenze has written a highly personal and meditative novel that unfolds against a seemingly familiar backdrop while offering a fresh point-of-view. The Radio Operator is a keenly observed work of fiction that introduces an accomplished literary voice to American readers. This session is hosted and sponsored by Goethe-Institut Boston in partnership with the BBF.