Gregor Hens: Best Reads in 2015

Reading Lists

Going with the simple fact that there can never be enough end-of-year book lists, we’ve asked our authors and translators to select their top three reads from 2015, irregardless of publishing date or justification.

Starting with German writer and translator, Gregor Hens. We published Hens’ reflective disquisition on addiction, NICOTINE (translated by Jen Calleja), in November 2015.

Valeria Luiselli, SIDEWALKS (Granta 2013)

It’s the ambulatory method of writing that appealed to me most. Beautiful, elegant essays on some of the more interesting ghosts of western culture.

Cólm Toibín, THE TESTAMENT OF MARY (Penguin, 2013)

Toibín very successfully resuscitates a character who has been dead (to me, at least) for two-thousand years. That’s quite a feat. The book was short and it was disturbing, two qualities I value highly.


I translated Vonnegut’s classic for a German publisher, and I still like it, which means it must be really, really good. There is no indicator of literary quality like the translator’s verdict after months of painstaking work.