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Heinrich Boll Books In Order

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Publication Order of Standalone Novels

The Train Was On Time (1949)Description / Buy at Amazon
And Where Were You, Adam? (1951)Description / Buy at Amazon
And Never Said a Word (1953)Description / Buy at Amazon
Tomorrow and Yesterday (1954)Description / Buy at Amazon
Acquainted With the Night (1954)Description / Buy at Amazon
The Bread of Those Early Years (1955)Description / Buy at Amazon
Billiards at Half-Past Nine (1959)Description / Buy at Amazon
Pray for the Dawn (1959)Description / Buy at Amazon
The Clown (1963)Description / Buy at Amazon
End of a Mission (1966)Description / Buy at Amazon
Adam and the Train (1970)Description / Buy at Amazon
Group Portrait with Lady (1971)Description / Buy at Amazon
The Lost Honor of Katharina Blum (1974)Description / Buy at Amazon
Land of Israel (1978)Description / Buy at Amazon
The Safety Net (1979)Description / Buy at Amazon
A Soldier's Legacy (1982)Description / Buy at Amazon
Women in a River Landscape (1985)Description / Buy at Amazon

Publication Order of Short Story Collections

Absent without Leave (1964)Description / Buy at Amazon
Eighteen Stories (1966)Description / Buy at Amazon
Children Are Civilians Too (1970)Description / Buy at Amazon
The Casualty (1983)Description / Buy at Amazon
Doktor Murkes Gesammeltes Schweigen and Other Stories (1984)Description / Buy at Amazon
The Stories of Heinrich Böll (1986)Description / Buy at Amazon
The Mad Dog (1995)Description / Buy at Amazon
The Collected Stories of Heinrich Böll (2011)Description / Buy at Amazon

Publication Order of Non-Fiction Books

Irish Journal (1957)Description / Buy at Amazon
Missing Persons and Other Essays (1957)Description / Buy at Amazon
What's to Become of the Boy? (1981)Description / Buy at Amazon

Publication Order of Anthologies

Anti-Story: An Anthology of Experimental Fiction(1971)Description / Buy at Amazon
Flash Fiction: 72 Very Short Stories(1992)Description / Buy at Amazon

Heinrich Boll was one of the foremost authors of Germany during the post-World War II era. He was the winner of the 1967 Georg Buchner Prize as well as the 1972 Nobel Prize for Literature. Boll had penned numerous standalone novels, short story collections, nonfiction books, and travel stories in his career. Some of his best-known works include The Bread of Those Early Years, Billiards at Half Past Nine, The Clown, The Safety Net, The Lost Honor of Katharina Blum, and a few others. There have been translations of his work into more than thirty different languages. Even today, he is regarded as one of the most widely read writers of Germany. In spite of having variety in the content and themes of his work, many of Boll’s books featured recurring patterns such as describing personal and intimate life struggling for sustaining itself against the background of political divisions, war, profound social and economic transition, terrorism, etc. Many of his books contain protagonists who are eccentric and stubborn individuals that oppose the mechanisms of public institutions or of the state.

Author Boll was born as Heinrich Theodor Boll on December 21, 1917, in Cologne, Germany. His family was a pacifist Catholic that opposed Nazism and Hitler’s rise. Boll refused to join the Nazi Party’s youth organization called Hitler Youth in the 1930s. Before joining the Cologne University to study German, he worked as an apprentice in a bookstore. After his graduation, Boll was conscripted into the German Army and served in France, Hungary, Soviet Union, Poland, and Romania. In 1942, he met and married his wife Annemarie Cech. The two became parents of three sons. Boll and Annemarie later collaborated on the translations of several of his English language work in German. During the time he served in the army, he was wounded 4 times and also contracted typhoid once. Boll was even captured by the U.S. Army in 1945 and made to live in a POW camp.

After the war came to an end, Boll returned to his hometown and started working in the cabinet shop owned by his family. Later, he also worked in the statistical bureau department of the government. Boll didn’t like the experience in the second job and decided to quit after making up his mind to take the risk of trying his hand in the field of writing. It was at the age of thirty that Boll succeeded in establishing himself as a full-time writer. He was able to publish his first book, The Train Was on Time, in 1949. Following the successful release of this book, Boll was invited to attend Group 47’s meeting in 1949, which was also attended by many prominent German authors. Most of them liked his work and praised it as the best presented. Later, many other short stories, essay collection, radio plays, and novels followed.

Throughout his writing career, Boll was lauded on numerous occasions. He received the Culture Prize, German Critics’ Prize, and the Southern German Radio Prize in 1953. Several other prestigious awards and accolades followed in the later years, including the Eduard von der Heydt prize, Great Art Prize, Tribune de Paris prize, Charles Veillon Prize, Nobel Prize, Ossietzky Medal, George Buchner Prize, etc. Author Boll had a strong belief in the Roman Catholicism in Cologne and also in its drastic and rough sense of humor. The glimpses of Catholicism seen in his work were often compared with authors such as Georges Bernanos, Graham Greene, and others. Boll was deeply affected by Cologne’s takeover by Nazis. The destruction of his hometown and his exile also had a deep impact on Boll and scarred him for life. Till the time he was alive, he kept close contact with Cologne’s citizens, the rich as well as the poor.

The villains depicted by Boll in his books were often authoritative figures in government, mainstream media, business, and in the Church. Boll’s death occurred on July 16, 1985, in Langenbroich, West Germany. His memory has been preserved in many places, including the Heinrich Boll Foundation. His personal papers are housed in a special archive called the Boll Archive in Cologne Library. The German government has converted Boll’s cottage located in Ireland into a writers’ residency in 1992. In 2017, Eric Anderson used a few of Boll’s books to compose a musical compositions’ set, which was produced by Meyer Records.

An interesting novel written by author Heinrich Boll is entitled ‘The Clown’. It was released by the Penguin Classics in 1994 after its first publication in 1963. Boll has mentioned the primary characters in this novel in the roles of Hans Schnier and Marie and has set the story in Bonn, Germany. The book opens by introducing Hans Schnier as an acclaimed entertainer. One day, he collapses after learning that his beloved Marrie has left him for not marrying her in the Catholic Church. This dissertation makes Hans Schnier re-examine his life and brings back the memories of losing his sister at the time of the war, his millionaire father’s demands, and his mother’s hypocrisies, who first fought for Germany against the Jews and then decided reconciliation afterwards.

Another popular novel penned by Boll is called ‘And Never Said a Word’. This book was published by Northwestern University Press in 1994 after its initial release in 1953. This novel features the primary characters in the form of Kate Bogner, Fred Bogne, and Mrs. Franke. Boll has again set the story in Germany. Through this book, Boll seems to have explored marriage’s extremities with compassion and depth. He has evoked an emotional world in the time period of just one and a half days. A husband and wife relate to this story of isolation, injustice, love, and poverty. Their love and married life carry a strong bond that is woven by emotional threads provided by strength and weakness. This novel shows the moral resonance with which author Boll has written the story that brings out significance from the simplest of lives. It was deeply appreciated by a number of critics throughout the globe. Even readers from various parts of the world found the book to be quite engaging to read. All of them gave excellent comments to the writing style of author Boll as well as his characterizations and helped the book to become widely successful.

Book Series In Order » Authors » Heinrich Boll

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