My next guest needs no introduction - in my new podcast I talk to Germany´s famous writer Ferdinand von Schirach
He was in very good spirits, when we met for our talk at Widder Hotel´s famous penthouse suite.
First of all, Ferdinand von Schirach loves Zurich, second of all: He loves the comfort of a warm welcome, a desk to work on, and a private espresso machine complimenting every mini bar - not to mention the little terraces and balcony´s some of the rooms at Widder Hotel offer: Very convenient for someone, who loves to smoke while he is writing.
You see: The title of his latest book: "Coffee And Cigarettes" is meant to be taken seriously!
Ferdinand Schirach started his career as a lawyer - and became a well known criminal defense attorney quite quickly.; but his love for literature and words made him write privately whenever there was some spare time. Then he decided to write about what he saw every day, in the streets of Berlin, behind prison grids, in hospitals and morgues.
He wanted to find out about the dark sides of human souls - those qualities that let so called "normal" people become murderer, rapists, perverts. And completely sharp, openly brutal, but still in a very soft voice, von Schirach managed to describe human abyss in a never before used language - that until today attracts more than six Million readers in forty different countries, all over the world.
When you listen to our conversation, you might find some of the magnetism, that defines Ferdinand von Schirachs´s work: As you cannot stop reading his novels, as you watch hypnotized his plays on stage, when you listen to his audio books, when you see one of the movies made from his stories - it all sums up to his great talent of story telling and his very specific way of unmasking human conditions.
Even his own.
Most of the author´s books are available in several languages - but if you read German go for "Kaffee und Zigaretten" first - it is kind of a Best-of-Ferdinand-von-Schirach-compilation.