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Berlin Noir (Germany)

Edited by:

Now, Berlin’s noir tradition—fueled by history, geography, and various literary traditions—adds up to a powerful volume of riveting short stories.

Forthcoming: 5/7/19

$15.95 $11.96

What people are saying…

“A volume of short stories that revolve around the history, geography and literary traditions of Berlin.”
New York Times Book Review, “Globetrotting,” April 2019

Included in Unlawful Acts’s May Releases

“The 13 stories in this welcome entry in Akashic’s noir series, all set in 21st-century Berlin, are less about traditional crime and more likely to involve gentrification, immigrants, or Airbnb . . . There’s more than enough variety to entertain most readers.”
Publishers Weekly

“A city with a rich noir past looks beyond its history to an equally unsettling present . . . Wörtche keeps his promise to show Berlin as ‘always moving forward in the present’ in this determinedly contemporary but genuinely noir collection.”
Kirkus Reviews

“Dora” by Zoë Beck selected as Robert Lopresti’s Best Mystery Story of the Week


Akashic Books continues its award-winning series of original noir anthologies, launched in 2004 with Brooklyn Noir. Each book comprises all new stories, each one set in a distinct neighborhood or location within the respective city.

Brand-new stories by: Zoë Beck, Ulrich Woelk, Susanne Saygin, Robert Rescue, Johannes Groschupf, Ute Cohen, Katja Bohnet, Matthias Wittekindt, Kai Hensel, Miron Zownir, Max Annas, Michael Wuliger, and Rob Alef. Translated from German by Lucy Jones.

From the introduction by Thomas Wörtche:

Berlin does not make it easy to write noir fiction—or perhaps Berlin makes it too easy. Noir tradition casts a long, influential, and even daunting shadow. Alfred Döblin’s and Christopher Isherwood’s works, some of Bertolt Brecht’s plays, the Morgue poems by Gottfried Benn, M by Fritz Lang, and many other narratives from the first third of the twentieth century, all of which are tinged with noir, set high intellectual standards, and literary and aesthetic benchmarks that are hard to surpass . . .

Neither Döblin nor Benn, Brecht nor Lang, catered to any crime fiction formats. They merely steeped their literary projects in a great deal of noir. And so it is with most of the stories in our anthology: they do not necessarily follow the usual patterns of crime fiction, but regard noir as a license to write as they wish, a certain way of approaching the city, and a prism through which its nature is viewed . . . What’s left is history. It is omnipresent in Berlin at every turn; the city is saturated in a history full of blood, violence, and death.

Read an excerpt of Katja Bohnet’s “Fashion Week” at CrimeReads.

Book Details

  • Paperback: 256 pages
  • Published: 5/7/19
  • IBSN: 9781617756320
  • e-IBSN: 9781617757242


THOMAS WÖRTCHE, born in 1954, is a literary scholar, critic, and was director of several crime fiction publishing imprints. He is currently responsible for a crime line with Suhrkamp Verlag. He lives in Berlin. He is the editor of Berlin Noir.

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