Thomas Meinecke

Photo: Michaela Melián

Born on 25 August 1955 and brought up in Hamburg, Meinecke started a degree in Theatre Studies, Modern German Literature and Communications at the Ludwig-Maximilian University of Munich in 1977. In his Master’s thesis in 1982, he dealt with the works of Karl Philipp Moritz. In 1978, he and some colleagues founded the culture magazine Mode und Verzweiflung (Fashion and Despair, the title inspired by Roxy Music). The magazine ran until 1986 and, in 1980, the band F.S.K. developed out of this collaboration. The name stands for Freiwillige Selbstkontrolle, literally ‘Voluntary Self-Censorship’ and also the name of the German film licensing board. F.S.K. is still active today (primarily in Germany, England and the USA) with almost the same members, and has produced several recordings in Germany, the UK and the USA.

In the 1980s, Meinecke wrote occasional columns for the German newspaper Die Zeit. Since 1985, he has been a radio DJ for Zündfunk and presents the evening mix on Bayern 2 on a fortnightly rotation. He also DJs regularly at clubs across the world.

Photo: Isolde Ohlbaum

Since the mid-1990s, he has become known as a postmodern writer for his unusual writing technique based on a form of mixing and sampling that resembles musical experimentation. He engages with various issues from the cultural history of the last century, including with pop culture and pop music, the German, Jewish and African diaspora in the USA, fashion and gender.

Since 2008, Meinecke organises a loose series of programmes under the title ‚Plattenspieler‘ (Record Player) at Berlin’s Hebbel am Ufer theatre (HAU). These programmes centre around a random collection of musical recordings. Meinecke is joined on stage by a different guest every evening, and the two take turns to play music from their collections for each other and the audience. He gave the 2012 Frankfurt Poetics Lectures. He was a member of the German PEN Centre (and left it again in 2016).

Photo: Vera Kern

Meinecke is married to the musician and visual artist Michaela Melián (various publications together, including with Spector Books) and they have a daughter named Juno. He has lived in Berg (near Eurasburg) since 1994.

Unless otherwise stated, his books appear with Suhrkamp, Berlin.

Visit Thomas Meinecke’s Facebook profile


Holz. (Wood). Story. 1988. Kiepenheuer & Witsch (in paperback with Suhrkamp).

The Church of John F. Kennedy. Novel. 1996.

Tomboy. Novel. 1998.

Hellblau. (Pale Blue). Novel. 2001.

Musik. (Music). Novel. 2004.

Jungfrau. (Virgin). Novel. 2008.

Lookalikes. Novel. 2011.

Selbst. Novel. 2016.

Tomboy and Pale Blue (Hellblau) have appeared in the USA with Amazon Crossing in translation by Daniel Bowles.

Prose Collections

Mit der Kirche ums Dorf. (Around the Village with the Church). Short Stories. 1986.

Mode & Verzweiflung. (Fashion & Despair). 1998.

Feldforschung. (Field Work). Stories. 2006.

Meinecke is Listening. SuKuLTuR Verlag, Berlin 2007.

Analog. (Analogue). Verbrecher Verlag, Berlin 2013.

Theoretical Writings

My Self as a Text. Frankfurt Poetics Lectures. 2012


Frank Witzel, Klaus Walter, Thomas Meinecke: Record Player. Hamburg: Edition Nautilus

Frank Witzel, Klaus Walter, Thomas Meinecke: The Federal Republic of Germany. Hamburg: Edition Nautilus 2009

Radio Plays

Collaborations with the sound artist and composer David Moufang, alias Move D, commissioned by Bayerische Rundfunk. The radio plays have also appeared with ‚Intermedium Records‘.

1998 Tomboy, published on CD (Intermedium Records)

1999 Freud’s Baby, published on CD (Intermedium Records)

2004 Flight Attendant, published on CD (Intermedium Records)

2007 Translations – Translations, published on CD (Intermedium Records)

2009 Work, published on CD (Intermedium Records)

2011 Lookalikes, published on CD (Intermedium Records)

2015 On the Map, (published as a double LP in collaboration with Ominira Records / Honest Jon’s)


1987: Grant from the Berlin Literary Colloquium

1997: Prize for New Writing from the Heimito von Doderer Prize for Literature

1997: Rheingau Prize for Literature

1998: Kranichstein Prize for Literature

2003: Düsseldorf Prize for Literature

2004: City of Munich Toucan Prize

2008: Karl Sczuka Prize, together with David Moufang

2010: Writer in Residence at the Fundacao Calmon, Salvador da Bahia

2011: Visiting Professor of Poetics at the Goethe University of Frankfurt am Main

2014: Writer in Residence at Queen Mary, University of London

2015: Fellow at the International Research Centre for Cultural Studies (IFK) in Vienna

2018: Visiting Professor of Poetics at the University of Cologne