Nina Sillem (S. Fischer Verlag, Germany)

Nina Sillem studied history and politics. After working for several German publishing houses (Links Verlag, C.H. Beck, Hanser) she has been with S. Fischer Verlag since 1999, since 2013 as Editor-in-Chief Non-fiction.


One book can change everything

  • Non-fiction has become very sophisticated. Many titles can now be summarized as fictional non-fiction.There is no rule or defining characteristic for fictional non-fiction (it would be interesting if we could find one).
  • Which label a book gets depends on the national markets. There are cultural limitations for mixing fictional and non-fictional elements; some topics need time, a certain distance before they can be mixed with fictional elements.
  • The fictionalization of a given topic can be used as an indicator of how a society comports itself to that topic. And it can be vice versa: new ways of storytelling and the diversity of formats can start a new way of debating a certain topic or of confronting the past.
  • One new, successful book can change everything! Whenever a new and successful non-fiction book is published, in a new format or a new literary style, it opens up new possibilities for other books, whether concerning the format or the topic.