What is President Trump's Summer Reading List
Ex-President's book list : What Barack Obama is reading this summer
Marilynne Robinson was a well-known writer in the US long before Barack Obama became US President in 2009. Her novel "Gilead", the prelude to a trilogy about a fictional place in the heart of America, in Iowa, was published in 2004 and earned her a Pulitzer Prize and a National Book Award a year later.
But when Obama came through Iowa during the election campaign, where Robinson is at home, discovered "Gilead" and the two subsequent volumes "Home" and "Purple" and began to read, and also got to know the writer, who was born in 1943, Robinson became well-known in the USA a world famous writer. Her novels, for example, have also been translated into German - not least advertised with the reference that Obama is a Robinson fan.
Since Obama is no longer president, it is easy to imagine that he has had more time to read. And because he continues to be a sought-after man and a top celebrity, the world is interested in what he reads. Obama announces this at regular intervals on Facebook and Instagram, where he recently gave his summer readings for the best.
This included, for example, Colson Whitehead with his latest novel "Die Nickel Boys", which has also been translated into German and has become a bestseller in this country, about the fate of some black boys in a so-called reformatory in the early 1960s; Obama's further reading includes novels by the recently deceased Toni Morrison, by Hilary Mantel ("Wolves"), by Téa Obendet, a young writer born in Belgrade in 1985 and living in the USA since she was twelve, or by Dinaw Mengistu, an Ethiopian-born US writer.
Is turning? Quantity? Some will ask that now, certainly also in the USA. The publishers there, however, should be very enthusiastic about Obama's vote. The new novel “Inland” read by the ex-president is now going to be a bestseller without any problems, and Mengestu's novel “How to read the air”, published in 2010, could return to the charts.
In Germany, where Mengestu's (actually very good) novel has been published under the title “The Melody of the Air” and also the first work by Obendet, “The Tiger Woman”, the respective publishers should also be delighted: an Obama blurb!
Is there still a need for literary criticism, one might ask. Or at least programs like Denis Schecks “Druckfrisch” or the “Literary Quartet”, which at least ensure small sales spurts? What if an Obama lifts his thumb? On the other hand: it's Barack Obama! Not Trump. Or Heiko Maas, Ursula von der Leyen or ..., yes, you know.
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