"Talking Germany" presenter Peter Craven discusses politics and the print media with Benjamin von Stuckrad-Barre.
The journalist and author Benjamin von Stuckrad-Barre is viewed by many as the enfant-terrible of the contemporary German literary scene. He has certainly polarized the country’s culturati with his eccentric and dandyish appearances. Stuckrad-Barre was born on January 27, 1975 in Bremen. He was the fourth and youngest child in a minister’s family. After finishing secondary school in Göttingen, he first studied German language and literature in Hamburg, but soon left university. He went on to work as a free lance reporter for various print media and television broadcasters, until in 1998 he landed on the best-seller list with his debut novel, Soloalbum, at the age of 23. He then went on to write ten more books, some of them best-sellers as well. But his rapid rise to fame took its toll on his private life. After a failed relationship, he sought solace in drugs and alcohol and became depressed. After several courses of therapy and a few years in Switzerland, he moved back to Berlin in 2006. Today, the 35-year-old is reputed to be a precise observer and chronicler of public life in Germany. His unorthodox writing style is has been influenced by “new journalism,” which originated in the US and is described as something between literature and journalism.