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Dorner, Maximilian

Lahme Ente in New York
(Lame Duck in New York)

Malik Verlag, February 2009, 76 pp.
ISBN: 978-3-89029-746-0

Another book about the city that never sleeps? Yes, and most welcome. The guide who invites the reader to join his exploration is erudite and warm, as curious about the people around him as about the stories and anecdotes – literary, historical and personal – that have their origins in the streets and avenues of New York. The pace of these discoveries is reminiscent of the flaneurs of old who would let the day take them where it would, for this author’s days are dictated as much by chance as by design: where will this bus take him? Hell’s Kitchen? Why not. End station Brighton Beach? So be it. Any water nearby? The Hudson it is. Although the pace is imposed on the author whose constant companion is a black walking stick, there would always have been an old-world gentlemanly charm to Max Dorner’s journeys and the quotes by Walt Whitman sprinkled through sit well with the whole. As for the stick, well, it brings him closer than many other travellers ever come to those fascinating denizens of NYC.
Also recommended is the same author’s diary Mein Dämon ist ein Stubenhocker, a frank, intelligent, and moving account of his coming to terms with his illness, to be published later this year in paperback by Rowohlt.


Maximilian Dorner was born in Munich in 1973. He studied dramaturgy at the Bavarian Theatre Academy, and works as an opera director and editor. His debut novel Der erste Sommer (‘The First Summer’) won the Bavarian Art Sponsorship Award 2007.

Previous works include:
Mein Dämon ist ein Stubenhocker (Verlag Zabert Sandmann, 2008; Rowohlt, paperback, 2009); Der erste Sommer (dtv. 2007).


Application for assistance with translation costs – Germany

Translation rights available from:
Piper Verlag
Tel: +49 89 381801-26
Contact: Sven Diedrich

In 1996 the Piper publishing group acquired the imprint Malik Verlag: it specialises in literary travel writing, adventure, and mountaineering. Authors include Jon Krakauer, Hape Kerkeling, Kai Strittmatter and Ilija Trojanow.