Thomas Pletzinger biography, plus links to book reviews and book excerpts from books by Thomas Pletzinger.

Author Biography  |  Interview  |  Books by this Author  |  Readalikes

Thomas Pletzinger
Photo: Juliane Henrich

Thomas Pletzinger

Thomas Pletzinger Biography

Thomas Pletzinger was born in 1975 and grew up in Germany's industrial area Ruhrgebiet. He holds an M.A from Hamburg University and an MFA from the German Literature Institute Leipzig. He worked for publishers and a literary scouting agency in New York. Pletzinger has won several awards for his writing, including fellowships and teaching positions at the University of Iowa, New York University, and Grinnell College. He currently lives in Berlin where he works as a translator and screenwriter at adler & soehne. He teaches at the University of Fine Arts Hamburg. His critically acclaimed Funeral for a Dog was published in the U.S. in March 2011.

Funeral for a Dog is translated by Ross Benjamin, whose work has appeared in The New York Times, The Times Literary Supplement, Bookforum, The Nation, and other publications. His translations include Friedrich Hölderlin’s Hyperion (Archipelago Books, 2008), Kevin Vennemann’s Close to Jedenew (Melville House, 2008), Joseph Roth's Job (Archipelago, 2010) and Thomas Pletzinger's Funeral for a Dog (W.W. Norton & Company, 2011). He was awarded the 2010 Helen and Kurt Wolff Translator's Prize for his rendering of Michael Maar's Speak, Nabokov (Verso Books, 2009). He was a 2003–2004 Fulbright Scholar in Berlin and is a graduate of Vassar College. He is currently at work on a novel about the Harlem Renaissance.

Link to Thomas's website

This biography was last updated on 03/22/2011.

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Interview

A Conversation with Thomas Pletzinger, Author of Funeral for a Dog



Q: For a time you were a semi-pro basketball player in Europe. Did this experience influence your writing?

This experience is something I think about a lot. I had always wanted to become a professional basketball player, and almost did make it. I do not know if a certain ambition or competitiveness or the desire to achieve or complete something is related to having been a basketball player or a sports person in general. Maybe it is, but maybe these things were there before I even started playing basketball. Certainly elements like discipline, ritual and monotony as well as play and creativity - aspects that shape the basketball player's life day in and day out - made a reappearance in my writerly life. Especially training and ritual and the abilities that come from them. And the physical and sensual aspects of sports are important to me as a writer as well. I still love to run and lift weights. I ran a couple marathons. And I still love basketball, even though I failed at it as a player. Right now, I am even working on a non-fiction book about basketball that picks up where I left the game fifteen years ago.

Q: Funeral for a Dog takes readers to several ...

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Books by this Author

Books by Thomas Pletzinger at BookBrowse

Recommended in Detail at BookBrowse

Funeral for a Dog
Funeral for a Dog

by Thomas Pletzinger

Rich with anthropological and literary allusion, this prize-winning debut set in Europe, Brazil, and New York, tells the parallel stories of two writers struggling with the burden of the past and the uncertainties of the future.
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Readalikes

All the books below are recommended as readalikes for Thomas Pletzinger but some maybe more relevant to you than others depending on which books by the author you have read and enjoyed. So look for the suggested read-alikes by title linked on the right.
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  • Jonathan Safran Foer

    Jonathan Safran Foer

    Jonathan Safran Foer is the author of the bestseller Everything Is Illuminated (2002), named Book of the Year by the Los Angeles Times and the winner of numerous awards, including the Guardian First Book Prize, the ... (more)

    If you enjoyed:
    Funeral for a Dog

    Try:
    Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close
    by Jonathan Safran Foer

  • Jonathan Lethem

    Jonathan Lethem

    Jonathan Lethem was born February 19, 1964 in Brooklyn, NY. He attended the alternative High School of Music & Art in New York where he produced a literary magazine and wrote a short novel titled Heroes. Lethem went to ... (more)

    If you enjoyed:
    Funeral for a Dog

    Try:
    Chronic City
    by Jonathan Lethem

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