Two Lines Press

The Wolfgang Hilbig Collection

The desolate, haunted worlds of Wolfgang Hilbig, one of Germany’s best kept secrets, reflect history, identity, and trauma off their gritty surfaces. Hilbig’s “luminous” prose (New York Times), represented here in three novellas and one short story collection all in translation by the genius Isabel Fargo Cole, is an immaculately controlled storm of poetry in prose, imposing and awe-inspiring, that has earned praise from critics and writers such as László Krasznahorkai, Joshua Cohen, and Dustin Illingworth. Let’s add your name to that impressive list, shall we?

$43 $53.80
  • The Sleep of the Righteous

    By Wolfgang Hilbig
    Translated from German by Isabel Fargo Cole

    Doppelgängers, a murderer’s guilt, pulp noir, fanatical police, and impossible romances—these are the pieces from which German master Wolfgang Hilbig builds a divided nation battling its demons. Delving deep into the psyches of both East and West Germany, The Sleep of the Righteous reveals a powerful, apocalyptic, utterly personal account of the century-defining nation’s postwar struggles.

  • Old Rendering Plant

    By Wolfgang Hilbig
    Translated from German by Isabel Fargo Cole

    In Old Rendering Plant Wolfgang Hilbig turns his febrile, hypnotic prose to the intersection of identity, language, and history’s darkest chapters, immersing readers in the odors and oozings of a butchery that has for years dumped biological waste into a river.

  • Tidings of the Trees

    By Wolfgang Hilbig
    Translated from German by Isabel Fargo Cole

    Where once was a beautiful wood now stands a desolate field smothered in ash and garbage, and here a young man named Waller has terrorizing encounters with grotesque figures named “the garbagemen.” As Waller becomes fascinated with these desperate men who eke out a survival by rooting through their nation’s waste, he imagines they are also digging through its past as their government erases its history and walls itself off from the outside world.

  • The Females

    By Wolfgang Hilbig
    Translated from German by Isabel Fargo Cole

    Already acclaimed for providing unique insight into some of history’s greatest wrongs—and today’s issues of mass surveillance, neo-fascism, and the individual’s role in society—what does Wolfgang Hilbig have to add to contemporary questions about gender? A lot it turns out. Acclaimed as one of Hilbig’s major works, The Females finds the lauded and legendarily irascible author focusing his labyrinthine, mercurial mind on how unequal societies can pervert sexuality and destroy a healthy, productive understanding of gender.

    It begins with a factory laborer who ogles women in secret on the job. When those same women mysteriously vanish from their small town, the worker sets out on a hallucinatory journey to find them. Powerful and at times disturbing, The Females leaves us with some of the most challenging, radical, and enduring insights of any novel from the GDR.


“Hilbig’s was among the most significant prose and poetry written not just in the GDR but in all of postwar Germany—East or West.” —Joshua Cohen, author of Book of Numbers

“­Evokes the luminous prose of W.G. Sebald.” —The New York Times

“[Hilbig writes as] Edgar Allan Poe could have written if he had been born in Communist East Germany.” —Los Angeles Review of Books

“Wolfgang Hilbig is an artist of immense stature.” —László Krasznahorkai, author of Satantango and Seiobo There Below

“[Hilbig] could very well be the writer for our time.” —Boston Review

“Whenever I read Hilbig’s books . . . I am profoundly shaken. This language practically slices me open.” —Clemens Meyer, author of Bricks and Mortar