Wolfgang Herrndorf, born in Hamburg in 1965, studied art, contributed drawings to Titanic amongst other publications, and began to write relatively late in his career. In 2002 his debut novel, Velvet Thunder, was published, for which Joachim Lottmann declared him to be a ‘Doyen of Pop Literature’. He was awarded with the Deutscher Erzählerpreis for On this Side of the Van Allen Belt in 2008 and (for his book Tschick) with the Clemens Brentano Preis (2011), the Deutscher Jugendbuchpreis (2011) and the Hans-Fallada-Preis (2012). Wolfgang Herrndorf died on August 26th, 2013 in Berlin.
Sand is both a spy thriller and a sublime work of literature. Set in an imaginary country in North Africa, sometime during the Seventies, it is populated by colourful figures with wacky names, who talk like B movie characters and seem taken straight from films and genre fiction. All of them are after a microfilm containing blueprints for an ultracentrifuge, but before the hunt is even fully on, sunstroke hits. Further complications ensue when inept CIA agents muddle up things even more, an accident causes amnesia in a character at a crucial point, an espresso maker is mistaken for the top-secret ultracentrifuge, and overall stupidity runs rampant… A novel such as can only be written by this author: artfully composed and nonchalant, profound, funny and mysterious, accessible on various levels – a fantastic read!