Photo © Oliver Killig

Michael Roes

Michael Roes was born in 1960 in Rhede in the Lower Rhine region. He is a novelist, poet and film-maker whose work often thematises encounters with non-European cultures, in the tradition of Hubert Fichte and Bruce Chatwin. Roes has travelled widely – in Yemen, Israel, North America, Algeria and Mali – and incorporates this experience into his fictional work. Leeres Viertel (from which the story ‘The Silence’ originates) earned Roes the Literaturpreis der Stadt Bremen in 1997, as well as a reputation as one of the leading German Poeten des Fremden. In this anthropological novel the protagonist is travelling in Yemen researching traditional children’s games. His account is a juxtaposition of travel writing, observations on daily life, anthropological lists, and reflections on the theory of play. The novel Weg nach Timimoun was published in 2006. It draws on Aeschylus’ trilogy The Oresteia but relocates the action to modern-day Algeria. Roes has also directed a film version of the same story, as well as an adaptation of Macbeth which is located in the tribal hinterlands of Yemen, entitled Someone is Sleeping in my Pain: Ein west-östlicher Macbeth (2000). Other works by him include the novels Der Coup der Berdache (1999), Haut des Südens (2000), David Kanchelli (2001) and Die fünf Farben Schwarz (2009). His
most recent publication is the novel Geschichte der Freundschaft (2010). (2011)


Winter 2011 (Issue 06), As-samt / The Silence