Literary writer and scholar of historical memory
Verena Boos is a German literary writer and freelance journalist.
In 2015, she published her debut novel Blutorangen. Blutorangen tells the story of a young Spanish student in Germany who discovers her father’s war engagement in the Wehrmacht and learns about the fate of Spanish Republican emigrés to France and Germany. The novel deals with how history still influences the presence, how a past just doesn’t go by. The Spanish past of dictatorship, violence and repression is – despite the Pact of Silence – very audible, and every day more so as the search for the desaparecidos of Franco gains momentum. The bigger part of the novel is set between the early 1990s and the year 2004 and deals with how the second and third generations, the “grandchildren of war“, approach a history they have not themselves experienced. It’s a story about guilt and remorse, about the questions of the after-born, about how memory works in loops, in telling and re-telling.
The novel was awarded the Mara Cassens award for the best German debut in 2015 as well as the Grimmelshausen young novelist and the Buddenbrook awards.
Verena Boos gained her PhD from the Europan University Institute in Florence with an analysis of historical rights claims in the negotiation of national interests and identities in Scotland and Catalonia. She is a Fellow of the Frankfurt Memory Studies Platform and has worked with the Spanish Association for the Recovery of Historical Memory, a non-governmental organisation that recovers individual and collective histories as well as the bodies of victims of the Franco dictatorship. In 2016, she was writer-in-residence in Bordeaux and investigated into the historical memory of Spanish emigrants in the French South-West. She is a regular contributor to magazines such as Der Freitag and Publik Forum, with a special focus on memory and identity politics in Spain as well as Graphic Novels. She works as a freelance editor and is currently writing her second novel.