Herr Gröttrup setzt sich hin, the award-winning short story that rocked the German-speaking literary world, is now available to English readers. This limited-edition tripartite publication visually presents the original German text in paralleled symmetry with translations from the British and American English and original illustrations inspired by the absurdist world of Herr Gröttrup. Featuring an interview between the author and celebrated novelist Idra Novey, Herr Gröttrup setzt sich hin is a stunning meditation on rules and rule-breaking.
Sharon Dodua Otoo’s short story Herr Gröttrup setzt sich hin, her second only work published in German, is a subversive and surrealist fable set in the unlikeliest of places: the otherwise uneventful breakfast table of Herr and Frau Gröttrup. The arrival of an unexpected guest forces Herr Gröttrup to question the routines around which he has so obsessively built his world — and his unmooring reminds us that the very assumptions that structure our realities can be undone by the smallest of interruptions. Otoo, a Black British author and the first ever Black writer to win the Ingeborg Bachmann Prize, conjures up a forgotten chapter of German history in her portrayal of Herr Gröttrup, who is based on the historical Nazi rocket-scientist Helmut Gröttrup. Herr Gröttrup setzt sich hin is a whimsical, intimate rendering of Germaness and »otherness« — and an equally unsettling examination of our internalization of rules and the extraordinary lengths we’d go to protect them.