Suhr – The German Exchange Student

About the Book

This witty developmental novel depicts the friendships and love experiences of a girl, Gorda, from childhood through high school. Initially we are confronted with the gloomy environment of post-war Germany, in which the fulfillment of duty is more important than child-centered creativity; a nightmare for young Gorda. She escapes to California as an exchange student. That’s where she learns to kiss and speak American English…Returning back to Germany allows Gorda to see her own world, family, and friends with completely new eyes. With The German Exchange Student, Geertje Suhr has written a novel that will delight adults and young people alike.

Praise about the Book

What every artist […] yearns for with their whole heart — a unique sound — Geertje Suhr has found it. [W]hat she writes is intellecturally almost bare, therefore innocent, […] therefore original poetic perception, a truly unique mixture. […] This wonderful prose melted on my tongue. The author strikes a completely unique tone. So precise. So daunting. So searching. And above all: so full of music. Guilt and innocence are always close to one another. Knowledge and Ignorance. It is a dance above the abyss.

Peter Rühmkorf (1929–2008)
Author and Poet

This book is a MUST READ […] an irresistable performance of authorial idioscyncracy, a tour-de-force. [An] emotion-driven, exploding inner monologue. The German Exchange Student is a fascinating book.

Rita Terras (1927-2015)
Professor of German Emerita
Connecticut College, New London
and Editor of Trans-Lit, the Journal of the Society for Contemporary American Literature in German

I can’t think of a book I have read in recent years that I have absorbed with such enthusiasm and fascination as The German Exchange Student. […] I couldn’t let it go. […] Everything flows along, seemingly effortless […], and at the same time you can see the riches and richness of the content with which you are confronted.

[W]ith this book [the author] has achieved something truly important: [she shows us] what Germany looked like during the post-war period; how its people lived, reacted, and how young people […] experienced their lives, accepted the status quo or resisted, became critics. […] It is precisely through the very personal that the situations, and people in them, become almost universal.

Ruth E. Lorbe (1925–2020)
Professor Emerita for German Literature,
University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign

About the Author

Geertje Suhr, Valencia High, California

Geertje Suhr grew up in Northern Germany, studied German, Romance Philology, and History in Tübingen, Freiburg im Breisgau, and Lausanne (Switzerland). She received her doctorate in 1980 from the University of Illinois in Urbana with a dissertation on the poetry of Heinrich Heine.

Geertje Suhr is a member of the PEN-Zentrum deutsch-sprachiger Autoren im Ausland and the Varnhagen Society. In 2006, she endowed the Geertje Potash-Suhr Prize for Prose in German, awarded by the Society for Contemporary American Literature in German; to date, Nina Holz, Fred Viebahn, Peter Wortsman, Peter Blickle, Guy Stern, and Utz Rachowski have received the prize.

Dr. Suhr received the 2000 Elisabeth Fraser de Bussy Prose Prize from the Society for Contemporary American Literature in German. She received the Robert L. Kahn Poetry Prize 2013 from the Society for Contemporary American Literature in German. In 2020 she was named the Else Lasker-Schüler Poetry Laureate in Wuppertal, Germany. She lives in Chicago and Germany.

Where Can I Buy the Book

The German Exchange Students is available in paperback, hardcover (case-wrap), and Kindle versions directly through Culicidae Press using the order button below, through bricks-and-mortar stores, or through Amazon worldwide using the following links:

USA  |  Canada  |  United Kingdom  |  France  |  Spain  |  Italy  |  Germany

Library, Bookstores, and other Institutions

Our books may be purchased in bulk for promotional, educational or business use by libraries, bookstores, and other institutions. Please use our online order form to purchase books at a 50% discount. All other customers, please use the links below.


Book Details

Publisher ‏ : ‎ Culicidae Press (May 3, 2022)
Language ‏ : ‎ English
Paperback ‏ : ‎ 232 pages
ISBN: ‎ 978-1-68315-021-3 (paperback)
ISBN: 978-1-68315-039-8 (case wrap hardcover)
ASIN: B09ZG4B3YP (Kindle)
Item Weight ‏ : ‎ 14.6 ounces
Dimensions ‏ : ‎ 6 x 0.53 x 9 inches


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