© JF Paga

Olivier Guez   [ France ]

The French journalist, writer, and screenwriter Olivier Guez was born in 1974 in Strasbourg. In 1996 he completed a master’s degree in international relations at the Institut d’Etudes Politiques de Strasbourg, while at the same time studying law. This was followed by an MA in government and international relations at the London School of Economics. In 1998 he completed a second master’s degree in European politics and administration at the Collège d’Europe in Bruges. In 1998, Guez was an OSCE election observer in Bosnia and Herzegovina, from 2005 to 2006 he was a Senate Scholarship European Journalist Fellow at the Freie Universität Berlin, and in 2009 he worked briefly for the French Foreign Ministry in Afghanistan and Pakistan. Guez has worked for various French and international newspapers, including the feature sections of the »FAZ« and the »FAS«. From 2000 to 2005 he reported on Latin America, Europe, and the Middle East for »Libération« and »La Tribune«. Today he writes for »Le Point«, »Le Monde«, and the »New York Times«.

In his book »L’Impossible retour. Une histoire des juifs en Allemagne depuis 1945« (2007; tr: The Impossible Return: A History of the Jews in Germany Since 1945), Guez devotes his attention to contemporary Jewish life in Germany, interviewing prominent contemporary witnesses such as Edgar Hilsenrath, Ralph Giordano, Imre Kertész, Henryk M. Broder, Maxim Biller, Micha Brumlik, and others on how it can be possible to return to a country of incomprehensible past crimes – or why this is impossible. In his non-fiction novel »La Chute du mur« (2009; Eng. “The Wall Falls”, 2009), he and Jean-Marc Gonin examine the events of 9 November 1989 with a docudrama style. In 2014, he published his first novel »Les révolutions de Jacques Koskas« (tr: The Revolutions of Jacques Koskas) and – as a well-known soccer expert in France – the literary essay »Eloge de l’esquive« about soccer in Brazil and the art of dribbling. For his most recent historical novel, »La Disparition de Josef Mengele« (2017; Eng.: »The Disappearance of Josef Mengele«, forthcoming 2021), Guez spent three years researching the life of war criminal Josef Mengele (1911–1979), who worked at the Auschwitz concentration camp during World War II. Guez tells the story of Mengele’s flight from Germany to Latin America, enabling him to escape a criminal trial, and sheds light on Mengele’s imaginary world as well as his fear of the Israeli Mossad secret service and investigators like the state prosecutor Fritz Bauer. The novel was awarded the Prix Renaudot.

Together with Lars Kraume, he wrote the script for the political thriller »Der Staat gegen Fritz Bauer« (2015; Eng. »The People vs. Fritz Bauer«), for which they won the 2016 German Film Award. The author lives in Paris.




La grande alliance
[Mit Frédéric Encel]
Paris, 2003 
L’Impossible retour
Une histoire des juifs en Allemagne depuis 1945
Paris, 2007
La Chute du mur
Paris, 2009 
American Spleen
Paris, 2012
Les révolutions de Jacques Koskas
Paris, 2014
Éloge de l’esquive
Grasset et Fasquelle
Paris, 2014 
La disparition de Josef Mengele
Grasset et Fasquelle
Paris, 2017