About this book
Guilt About the Past
The six essays that make up this compelling book view the long shadow of past guilt as a German experience as well as a global one. International bestselling author Bernhard Schlink explores the phenomenon of guilt and how it attaches to a whole society, not just to individual perpetrators. He considers how to use the lessons of history to motivate individual moral behaviour, how to reconcile a guilt-laden past, the role of law in this process, and how the theme of guilt influences his own fiction.
Based on the Weidenfeld Lectures Schlink delivered at Oxford University, Guilt about the Past is essential reading for anyone wanting to understand how events of the past can affect a nation's future, tapping into worldwide interest in the aftermath of war and how to forgive and reconcile the various legacies of the past.
About the Author
Bernhard Schlink was born in 1944 near Bielefeld, Germany, to a German father and a Swiss mother. He grew up in Heidelberg and studied law in Heidelberg and Berlin. He was a justice at the Constitutional Law Court of the State of North Rhine-Westphalia, is professor emeritus of public law and philosophy of law at Berlin's Humboldt University and also teaches at the Benjamin N. Cardozo School of Law in New York. Schlink has published several works of fiction and nonfiction. His novel The Reader was an international bestseller, has won multiple literary prizes, and been translated into more than fifty languages. His most recent novel, The Woman on the Stairs, was published in 2014 in German and 2017 in English to critical acclaim. Bernhard Schlink divides his time between New York and Berlin.