Christoph Fischer is a writer and reviewer. His second novel, Sebastian, part of The Three Nations Trilogy was released in May. He took some time out to come and pay a visit.
Who are you?
I am a writer of predominantly historical fiction, dog breeder, book reviewer, lapsed vegan, blogger, German in exile, night time runner and an avid reader.
What are you working on?
I am currently editing the third book in my Three Nations Trilogy, loosely entitled “The Black Eagle Inn”, which is set in post-war Germany and like its predecessors is an epic family saga dealing with the effects of war on the little man.
What’s your favourite thing in the whole entire world?
Cuddling up with the dogs by the fireplace watching a good film or TV series.
And most unfavourite?
Marmalade or marmite?
If you could be any person from history, film, literature or music, who would you be and why?
Sigmund Freud. The philosophers and psychologists of that era seemed to have had an exciting and promising career ahead and great personal devotion to their work.
And while we’re on about it, what’s your favourite album/book/movie?
Album: Portishead “Dummy”
Book: Gregory David Roberts: “Shantaram”
Movie: “Casino Royale” (Woody Allen)
What’s the best thing that has ever happened to you?
My dogs and my partner.
And the worst?
Road rage (receiving).
Any words of wisdom to leave us with?
The answer is 42.
The Three Nations Trilogy
The Trilogy is an attempt to illustrate themes of family, ethnicity and the concept of Nations in three very different yet similar times and settings in Central Europe. Not written in chronological order and not linked via the characters or plot connections the books are a close up of individual and at times very different experiences of same outer circumstances. Together they form a jigsaw puzzle of identity issues and belonging in volatile political dynamics.
The Luck of the Weissensteiners
In the sleepy town of Bratislava in 1933 a romantic girl falls for a bookseller from Berlin. Greta Weissensteiner, daughter of a Jewish weaver, slowly settles in with the Winkelmeier clan just as the developments in Germany start to make waves in Europe and re-draw the visible and invisible borders. The political climate in the multifaceted cultural society of disintegrating Czechoslovakia becomes more complex and affects relations between the couple and the families. The story follows the group of characters throughout the war with its predictable and also its unexpected turns and events and the equally hard times after.
What makes The Luck of the Weissensteiners so extraordinary is the chance to consider the many different people who were never in concentration camps, never in the military, yet who nonetheless had their own indelible Holocaust experiences. This is a wide-ranging exploration of the connections between social location, personal integrity and, as the title says, luck.
Sebastian is the story of a young man who has his leg amputated before World War I. When his father is drafted to the war it falls on to him to run the family grocery store in Vienna, to grow into his responsibilities, bear loss and uncertainty and hopefully find love.
Sebastian Schreiber, his extended family, their friends and the store employees experience the ‘golden days’ of pre-war Vienna and the timed of the war and the end of the Monarchy while trying to make a living and to preserve what they hold dear.
Christoph Fischer was born in Germany, near the Austrian border, as the son of a Sudeten-German father and a Bavarian mother. Not a full local in the eyes and ears of his peers he developed an ambiguous sense of belonging and home in Bavaria, which has led to his interest in the concept of Nations, individuals and communal culture, some of the central themes of ‘The Three Nations Trilogy’. He moved to Hamburg, London, Brighton and Bath, where he is still resident today. ‘The Luck of The Weissensteiners’ is his first book and was published in November 2012. ‘Sebastian’ in May 2013.
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