photo © Joachim Gern


Norman Ohler [Germany]

Norman Ohler was born in Zweibrücken, Rheinland-Pfalz, in 1970. After graduating from the Hamburg School of Journalism, he wrote for Der Spiegel and Stern. In 1993Ohler moved to New York City and co-founded the Tribes Gallery in Manhattan in 1994. It was also in New York that Ohler began to work on his first novel Die Quotenmaschine (1995; tr: The Quota Machine). Die Quotenmaschine is considered the first hypertext novel worldwide. Ohler returned to Germany and wrote his second novel Mitte (2001), a ghost story about gentrification. Stadt des Goldes (2002; tr: Ponte City), the final novel in his urban trilogy, tells the story of Kraner, a young German journalist who follows the life of Lucy, a black South African woman who is imprisoned for five years for smuggling drugs into the US. Ohler’s first non-fiction work, which has been translated into over 30 languages, examines the role drugsplayed among Nazi military and political leaders. Die Gleichung des Lebens (2017; tr: The Equation of Life) is a historical crime novel set during the time of Frederick the Great, with mathematical genius Leonhard Euler serving as the investigator in a murder case. In 2019, Ohler published his second non-fiction book, The Bohemians, a meticulously researched tale of two idealistic young lovers who led the anti-Nazi resistance. In 2023 Ohler published Der stärkste Stoff, a non-fiction book about LSD, and why it became a drug instead of a medicine. Ohler has received the Martha Saalfeld Prize, and the „Pfalz-Preis“. He was a writer in residence in Ramallah and Jerusalem. He lives in Berlin.