Those who can build effective bridges between Islam and the West are rare. Navid Kermani is one. He has a unique command of German literature which, combined with his Iranian family background, has allowed him to identify common denominators marking a centuries-old dialogue between Islamic and German-language literature. In his latest book, he explores those links with a review of the work of Goethe, Lessing, Kleist, and Kafka, offering insights about the influence and impact of Islam in Europe. In this framework, one can find new opportunities to build bridges today—despite the increasing tensions in Europe.
Kermani is a well-known writer in Germany and has been awarded multiple prizes for his work. He was invited to speak to the German Bundestag on the anniversary of the German Basic Law in 2014. His book God is Beautiful appeared in English recently. A review can be found here.
Zwischen Koran und Kafka is not available in English yet. But for those who can read German, it is an enjoyable experience.
A report on Kermani appeared on the website of Deutsche Welle and can be found here.