Lettre Ulysses Award for the art of reportage

Hans Christoph Buch, Germany

Writer, literary critic, and journalist. Hans Christoph Buch was born in 1944 in Wetzlar. His grandfather was a diplomat in Haiti, which is how he came to develop a special interest in this country. He lived for some time in West Africa, Latin America, and Haiti and was a visiting professor at universities in Germany, the United States, Hong Kong, Buenos Aires, and Cuba. Hans Christoph Buch is a member of the PEN.

Hans Christoph Buch first drew attention to himself with his collection of stories Unerhörte Begebenheiten at a conference held by Gruppe 47. Additional important literary stages were the political satires from the years 1971-75, which, under the title Aus der neuen Welt, told stories and news from America. His novel Die Hochzeit von Port-au-Prince was published in 1984 and received a lot of attention. In the same year, he was named Officier de l'Ordre de l'Art et des Lettres by the French minister of education and the arts.

In the mid-nineties, Buch traveled to Rwanda and Burundi to report on the war between the Hutus and Tutsis. He has traveled in various conflict areas including Bosnia, Chechnya, Haiti, Algeria, Zaire, Cambodia, East Timor, Pakistan, and Liberia. He regularly works as a correspondent for Die Zeit and the Spiegel. Numerous reportage collections have been published including Tropische Früchte. Afro-amerikanische Impressionen, Die neue Weltunordnung. Bosnien, Burundi, Haiti, Kuba, Liberia, Ruanda, Tschetschenien, and Blut im Schuh. Schlächter und Voyeure an den Fronten des Weltbürgerkrieges. His novel Kain und Abel in Afrika thematizes the massacre in Rwanda. His most recent publication was Wie Karl May Adolf Hitler traf und andere wahre Geschichten.

Hans Christoph Buch lives in Berlin.

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"I am always astonished about reality. It’s not just the duty to inform, you want to convey this initial experience to the reader that you are irritated sometimes because things don’t fit into the clichés. All the clichés are somehow proven wrong when you read a good reportage"Hans Christoph Buch (jury member 2003)