Orths, Markus 1969-
Orths, Markus 1969-
Born 1969. Studied philosophy and French and English literature in university. Education: Attended university.
Writer. Has also taught English.
Limburg Award, 2003; North Rhine-Westphalia Award, 2003; Marburg Literature Award, 2002, for Corpus; Moerser Literature Award and Berlin Open Mike award, 2000.
Wer geht wo hinterm Sarg? Schöffling (Frankfurt am Main, Germany), 2001.
Corpus (novel), Schöffling (Frankfurt am Main, Germany), 2002.
Lehrerzimmer (novel; title means "Staff Room"), Schöffling (Frankfurt am Main, Germany), 2003.
Catalina (novel), Schöffling (Frankfurt am Main, Germany), 2005, translation by Helen Atkins published as Catalina, Toby (New Milford, CT), 2006.
Fluchtversuche: Erzählungen (title means "Attempts at Flight"), Schöffling (Frankfurt am Main, Germany), 2006.
Markus Orths is a German author who writes primarily novels and short stories. Although Orths taught English before moving to writing on a full-time basis, he writes mainly in German. His writing is, however, well respected in Germany and abroad as indicated by the number of literary awards he has received. These include the Limburg Award, the North Rhine-Westphalia Award, the Marburg Literature Award, and the Moerser Literature Award, among others.
In one of his novels, Catalina, Orths takes the autobiography of Catalina d'Erauso and fictionalizes it. Catalina was raised primarily by her brother in late sixteenth-century Spain; she is devastated when he moves to the New World to run the family business. She devises a plan to get an education at a convent and meet with him in South America. To do this, however, she must live as a man, and she spends the majority of time in the book coming to terms with her own identity. Reviewers of the English translation of Catalina were positive. A critic writing in Kirkus Reviews stated: "A fascinating subject and fine storytelling merge in this novel of a Spanish gender-bender." A reviewer writing in Publishers Weekly noted that Orths's "enthusiasm for the material" and "tongue-in-cheek narration and action-packed episodes … feed the reader's urge to root for" Catalina. Julie Failla Earhart, concluding a review on the Armchair Interviews Web site, called the narrative "thought-provoking" and continued, saying that the "superb job of weaving myth and reality … leaves little to fault."
BIOGRAPHICAL AND CRITICAL SOURCES:
Internet Bookwatch, December, 2006, review of Catalina.
Kirkus Reviews, July 15, 2006, review of Catalina, p. 695.
Library Journal, August 1, 2006, M. Neville, review of Catalina, p. 73.
Publishers Weekly, August 21, 2006, review of Catalina, p. 51.
Armchair Interviews,http://www.armchairinterviews.com/ (March 11, 2007), Julie Failla Earhart, review of Catalina.