Kehlmann, Daniel 1975-

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Kehlmann, Daniel 1975-


Born 1975, in Munich, Germany; immigrated to Vienna, Austria, 1981; son of a director and an actress. Education: Attended Jesuit college in Vienna, Austria.


Home—Vienna, Austria.


Writer. New York University, Deutsches Haus, New York, NY, writer in residence, 2006.


Förderpreis des Kulturkreises der deutschen Wirtschaft, for Beerholms Vorstellung, 1997; Candide Award, 2005.



Beerholms Vorstellung, Deuticke (Vienna, Austria), 1997.

Unter der Sonne (short fiction), Deuticke (Vienna, Austria), 1998.

Mahlers Zeit, Suhrkamp (Frankfurt on Main, Germany), 1999.

Der fernste Ort, Suhrkamp (Frankfurt on Main, Germany), 2001.

Ich und Kaminski, Suhrkamp (Frankfurt on Main, Germany), 2003.

Die Vermessung der Welt, Rowohlt (Reinbeck, Germany), 2005, translation by Carol Brown Janeway published as Measuring the World, Pantheon Books (New York, NY), 2006.


Daniel Kehlmann was born in Munich, Germany, and raised in Vienna, Austria, where he later attended a Jesuit college. He made his literary debut at a young age with his first novel, Beerholms Vorstellung, for which he quickly garnered praise and was awarded the Förderpreis des Kulturkreises der deutschen Wirtschaft. He has followed up his first novel with several more, as well as a collection of short fiction. Die Vermessung der Welt, which appeared in English as Measuring the World, follows the exploits of nineteenth-century scientist and explorer Alexander von Humboldt and Carl Gauss, the mathematician. In the novel, von Humboldt persuades Gauss to join him, first at a party in Berlin, and then in an expedition across Russia to the Ural Mountains. Kehlmann then goes on to recap some of the adventures each character had prior to their meeting, alternating chapters, and employing magical realism to set the tone of his story. Ray Olson, in a review for Booklist, called the book a "heady historical novel." A contributor for Kirkus Reviews described Kehlmann's effort as "a wonderfully entertaining depiction of an era, but, more importantly, a warm, playful portrait of two delightfully improbable men," concluding that the book was "brilliant." A reviewer for Publishers Weekly remarked: "The narrative is notable for its brisk pacing, lively prose and wry humor."



Booklist, November 1, 2006, Ray Olson, review of Measuring the World, p. 29.

Entertainment Weekly, November 10, 2006, Wook Kim, review of Measuring the World, p. 89.

Kirkus Reviews, September 1, 2006, review of Measuring the World, p. 867.

Publishers Weekly, September 25, 2006, review of Measuring the World, p. 43.


Complete Review, (December 26, 2006), author biography.

Deseret Morning News Online (Salt Lake City, UT), (December 26, 2006), Dennis Lythgoe, "Measure Delightful Tale of Two Men's Parallel Lives."

Goethe Institute Web site, (December 26, 2006), author biography.

Manchester Guardian Online, (July 19, 2006), Luke Harding, "Unlikely Bestseller Heralds the Return of Lightness and Humour to German Literature."

New York Sun Online, (November 22, 2006), Benjamin Lytal, review of Measuring the World.

News & Observer Online (Raleigh, NC), (December 26, 2006), Todd Shy, "Superb Novel Takes Measure of Great Men."

San Francisco Chronicle Online, (November 12, 2006), Aaron Britt, "Weird Science in Germany."

Washington Post Book World Online, (November 26, 2006), Ron Charles, "Weird Science: A Bestselling German Novel about the Comic Adventures of Two Reallife Scientists."