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Coffee and Cigarettes

On sale

11th May 2023

Price: £16.99

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Selected: Hardcover / ISBN-13: 9781529345728

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‘Marvellously unpredictable . . . by the end of the book you wish it was twice as long’ (Daily Telegraph)

‘Beautifully translated . . . The perfect way into [Ferdinand von Schirach’s] oeuvreTLS

How does the legacy of a family past shape who we are?

Ferdinand von Schirach is one of Germany’s most eminent criminal defence lawyers and an internationally bestselling crime writer. He is also the grandson of Baldur von Schirach, leader of the Hitler Youth movement.

In Coffee and Cigarettes, his most personal book, von Schirach confronts his family history, through autobiographical vignettes and short stories drawn from his life and career. From conversations with imprisoned clients, great writers and supreme court judges; meditations on art, film, writing and smoking; to reflections on Germany’s heavy history, Coffee and Cigarettes is a portrait of the author, and our modern world, depicted in von Schirach’s signature cool and incisive prose. Revealing, revelatory and thought-provoking, these essays confirm von Schirach as one of the most inimitable writers in Europe today.


Jake Kerridge, Daily Telegraph
Veering between the insightful and the oblique, some of these jottings sear themselves onto your mind instantly [. . .] one quickly develops a taste for von Schirach's unpredictable musings, a taste which has become such a full-blown addiction by the end of the book that you wish it was twice as long
Beautifully translated . . . the volume thrives on the tension between von Schirach's deceptively simple prose and his profoundly humane view of the ethical calamities of our age. Combining moving character studies with essayistic contemplations of the nature of justice, human dignity and our collective human frailty, von Schirach reflects both on our capacity for cruelty and on our ability to experience healing moments of connection