I started learning German at school at the age of thirteen, and chose to study it at A-level because it seemed like most other people were taking French, and I wanted to do something different. Our A-level syllabus included a lot of German literature, and from that point I was hooked. Set texts by Bertolt Brecht and Heinrich Böll were the gateway into a rich literary world which I will always inhabit.
I studied English Literature and German at UCL, followed by an MPhil in European Literature at Christ’s College, Cambridge, and a PhD at Royal Holloway, University of London, examining literary representations of the Holocaust. My PhD thesis was published as Forgetting to Remember: Religious Remembrance and the Literary Response to the Holocaust, (Valentine Mitchell, 2014).
The fascination for German literature that began in the classroom has never left me, and in the current impoverished climate of language-learning in the UK, I now realise how lucky I am to have had the opportunity to learn German in the first place, as well as to have had access to the Goethe-Institut in Manchester during the 1990s, now long-since closed. German-language books are both my passion and my profession, and Die Germanistin blog will reflect some of my experiences with German-language literature, in the UK and beyond.
By Sheridan Marshall
Sheridan Marshall is a freelance literary editor and translator, working on the editorial team for New Books in German, as well as writing book reports and sample translations for numerous publishers. She was Deputy Editor for The Austrian Riveter, the first English-language magazine to showcase the riches of contemporary Austrian literature, which you can read here on the European Literature Network’s website.