I grew up in Hawaii and moved to Germany when I was 24 to study medieval literature in Munich. And yes, I do truly believe that the best German literature ever produced was written around 1200. With so much knowledge about Parzival and the Nibelungen, the only choices I had was to drive a taxi or become a journalist, so I did the later. I now live in Berlin and write books in German with my co-writer and life partner Astrid Ule.
Eric's website: ethansen.com
Normally I write narrative non-fiction (often humorously) about German and American politics, history, culture and mentality from the perspective of an outsider. So far, we have published eight books in that vein and I have achieved a modest reputation in Germany as a satirist and provocateur.
We also write novels: Currently we are preparing our first murder mystery trilogy for the Heyne publishing house in Munich.
I feel a writer’s job is to question the accepted perspective.
A lot of writers see it as their job to educate the reader. Apparently, they believe they are somehow blessed with the ability to recognize what is right or wrong. But I know a number of authors, including myself, and let me tell you they are not blessed with exceptional wisdom. They are guessing just like anyone else.
But the one thing an author can do is his readers to think, for a moment, differently. Of course, 90% of writing non-fiction is information and entertainment, but beyond that, it seems to me that the only point of writing is to challenge people to look at their world from a different angle.
Besides the information and the entertainment, that is what I am trying to do with my writing.
For Hula Ink, I will be writing sometimes humorous essays in English and German about politics and trans-Atlantic perceptions, about language, about medieval German literature and possibly about sex, and I hope to have my first Hula Ink book — a Mark Twain parody — ready to go before the end of this year.
- Eric T. Hansen