Hans Christoph BUCH


Novelist, international reporter, literary critic, Germany

Writing / Poetry
Hans Christoph BUCH

Octobre 2012 à janvier 2013


Born into a Haitian-German family whose eldest son, his father, was consul in Marseille, where he learned French, and later ambassador of Germany in Copenhagen and Bern ; he published his first book, a collection of short stories, edited by Suhrkamp in 1966 after having met Günter Grass, Hans Magnus Enzensberger and other important writers at meetings of the Group 47. Then he finished his studies in Literature in Berlin in 1972 with a dissertation on descriptive literature in Lessing and Lukacs. He wrote more than thirty books, novels, short stories and essays, and after publishing a tetralogy closely linked to the history of his family and that of Haiti, he became a reporter for the weekly journal Die Zeit and other German media. Traveling in the Third World, he wrote stories of war and literary stories on Liberia, Rwanda, Cambodia, Tchetchenia and the former Yugoslavia. He lives in Berlin, but he stayed and taught in New York, Austin, San Diego, Paris, La Rochelle, Buenos Aires, Havana, Hangzhou and Hong Kong.

Search project

"Sylla le Magnifique : the tumultuous life of a Haitian-German who made his fortune in France"

His research project concerns one of his Haitians ancestors, Sylla Laraque, uncle of his grandmother Luce Laraque, a coffee exporter who made his fortune in New York by investing heavily in the construction of the Panama Canal. In the late nineteenth century Sylla Laraque moved to France where he acquired several impressive homes, one in Neuilly, one in Paris, and the castle of Monchy-Humières near Compiègne. Later, he founded a resort in a fishing village in Brittany, Saint-Lunaire close to Dinard, where he built several luxury hotels, the Hotel de Paris and the Grand Hotel de la Plage (with casino), and financed the first flight of the aviator Bleriot over the Channel from Calais to Dover. The tumultuous life of this entrepreneur, businessman and intrepid adventurer does not interest Hans Christoph Buch only because he belonged to his family, but from a more general aspect, historical and economic. He intends to write a postcolonial novel on this eccentric character who was a forerunner of what is called globalization today.


BUCH, Hans Christoph.

Apokalypse Afrika oder Schiffbruch mit Zuschauern. Frankfurt am Main : Eichborn, 2011. 251 p.

BUCH, Hans Christoph.

Das rollende R der Revolution. Lateinamerikanische Litanei. Springe : zu Klampen Verlag, 2008. 159 p.

BUCH, Hans Christoph.

Tod in Habana. Frankfurt am Main: Frankfurter Verl.-Anst., 2007. 125 p.

BUCH, Hans Christoph.

Ombres dansantes ou le Zombie c'est moi. Paris : Grasset, 2005. 313 p.

BUCH, Hans Christoph.

Archipel de la douleur. Voyages au bout du nouveau désordre mondial. Paris : Grasset, 2003. 351 p.

Personal Website: http://www.hans-christoph-buch.de/