Wolfgang Büscher was born in 1951 near Kassel and writes for Die Welt. As Deutschlandfunk said “He has brought a new splendour to travel writing.” Büscher has published several books, among them Berlin-Moscow (2003) Germany, A Journey (2005), Hartland (2011) and Spring in Jerusalem (2014). He has won multiple awards for his work, amongst others the Kurt Tucholsky prize, the Johann Gottfried Seume prize for literature and the Ludwig Börne prize.
Night after night, a boy stands at the window of his parents’ house and watches the sun as it disappears from view behind the rolling hills in the west. He roams through the woods with his friends, building wooden shacks which the foresters destroy. It’s the early sixties. Decades later, Wolfgang Büscher makes his childhood dream come true. He moves to the woods and experiences spring, summer and autumn there. A princely house on the border of Hessen and Westphalia where Büscher grew up conveys him a hunting lodge in the middle of the woods, in the middle of Germany.
This is where he puts up his camp bed. He has no electricity or running water. He prepares himself for quiet times alone, chopping wood and making fires, the odd hunting expedition, hiking, a marksmen’s festival, extreme loneliness and a night blackness never before seen in the city. The year takes an unexpectedly dramatic turn as storms, heat and plagues of beetles kill half of the woods. And something else happens which turns everything on its head: Büscher’s mother dies that summer, meaning the house he grew up in is left empty, but full of memories. This is a homecoming more existential than he could have imagined.
A book far removed from the deafening din of today‘s world. An exploration of a nation, floods of memories and “Sentimental Education” all rolled into one - literary, perceptive and overwhelming.