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Thomas Brasch

Thomas Brasch was a German playwright, novelist, poet, translator, and director.  Although born in Yorkshire, England, (Feb. 19, 1945) as the son of Jewish immigrants, his childhood and young adult life was spent in East Germany, where his father served on the Central Committee of the ruling Socialist Unity Party.  In 1976, shortly after the publication of his first major prose work Vor den Vätern Sterben die Söhne (The Sons Die before the Fathers) was forbidden in the GDR, he moved to West Berlin, where he lived until his death in 2001.  Though considered a dissident writer, he never felt truly at home on either side of the wall.  Important works include the poetry collections Der schöne 27. September (The Beautiful 27th of September) and Wer durch mein Leben will, muß durch mein Zimmer (He Who Wants to Cross my Life Must Cross my Room), the prose volume Mädchenmörder Brunke (Brunke the Girl-Killer), and the plays Lovely Rita, Rotter, and Lieber Georg (Dear Georg), as well as translations of Shakespeare and Chekhov.  He was awarded the Ernst-Reuter Prize in 1978, the Bavarian Film Prize in 1982, and the Kleist Prize in 1983.

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