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“Der Pole” is the Ö1 Book of the Month for July

“Der Pole” is the Ö1 Book of the Month for July

JM Coetzee’s bittersweet novel is Ö1 Book of the Month, published by S. Fischer. Translated from the English by Reinhild Bonke.

In his new novel The Pole, Nobel laureate John Maxwell, who hails from South Africa and lives in Australia — or J.M. Coetzee for short: J.M. Coetzee, creates a tender, elegiac love story that begins fragile and ends beautifully sadly.

It concerns an aging Polish pianist named Witold, famous for his interpretations of Chopin, and the banker’s wife, Beatrice, from Barcelona. A rather dramatic love story begins, you spend time in Mallorca – and you are already in the narrative world of Coetzee, working with many historical references and connections. Above all, the relationship between Frédéric Chopin and Georges Sand, also in Mallorca, plays a role here, as does Dante Alighieri and his character, Beatrice.

There is so much in these 144 pages, in this love story that is bittersweet and somewhat fragile: so much music, so much subtlety, so many thoughts about us and our times, about old age, about unfulfilled longings and so on. It is a novel that does not end after reading it.

(Extract from the Ex Libris Jury statement)

The winning title was announced and discussed on the Ö1 broadcast Book board. All information about the current Ö1 Book of the Month and all previous titles can be found at

Are you a member of the HVB and would like to take part in the campaign? Here you can find out how to become a partner library of Ö1 Book of the Month.

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