The Grand Duchy has a relatively recent literary history. The period of the early 1980s is often considered as the real starting point for contemporary Luxembourgish literature.
This was when the general public discovered a number of new voices, including Lambert Schlechter, Jean Portante, Michèle Thoma, Nico Helminger and Georges Hausemer, while already established authors began to look for other ways of expressing themselves. The central theme of works from this period is the human being in his social environment.
The publication in 1985 of 'Hannert dem Atlantik', the first novel in Luxembourgish, by Guy Rewenig, marked the rebirth of novels in Luxembourgish, an important landmark in the recent history of the Grand Duchy's literature.
In Rewenig’s wake Roger Manderscheid published a major trilogy in 1988, comprising the novels 'schacko klak', 'de papagei um käschtebam' and 'feier a flam'. Since the late 1980s, books in Luxembourgish have been very popular with the public, achieving astronomic sales in comparison with the limited market in the Grand Duchy. More sagas in Luxembourgish were published over the following ten years, by authors of the likes of Nico Helminger, Jhemp Hoscheit and Josy Braun.
During this period there was also a renaissance of literature in French in the Grand Duchy; the main authors were Edmond Dune, Jean Portante, Anise Koltz, Lambert Schlechter, Rosemarie Kieffer, José Ensch, Jean Sorrente, Félix Molitor, and Danielle Hoffelt.
The same is true of recent Luxembourg literature in German, which attempts to blend into the dominant currents of the German-speaking world. Names such as Jean Krier, Roland Harsch, Pit Hoerold and Guy Helminger guarantee the high literary quality of the works.
Children's literatureChildren's literature in Luxembourgish is particularly appreciated as a genre. Guy Rewenig stands out as a pioneer in children's literature in Luxembourgish; his 'Muschkilusch' collection of stories was published in 1990.
Other popular authors, including Roger Manderscheid and Jhemp Hoscheit, have tried their hand at writing for children and teenagers — a successful exercise to judge by their sometimes impressive sales.
Since 2001, in collaboration with the 'Freed um Liesen' (Joy of Reading) initiative, the National Literature Centre in Mersch (Centre national de littérature, CNL) has organised an annual Luxembourgish version of the KIBUM book fair for literature for children and teenagers — thousands of German-language books for children and teenagers are presented at the Centre in Mersch for a whole week in January each year.
The comic-strip genre
'Deemols' ('In days gone by') by Marc Angel is a history of the Grand Duchy in the style of comic-strip. Andy Geenen has produced a fictional comic-strip story about John the Blind (the King of Bohemia) entitled 'De Leschte Ritter' (The last knight).
The great classic of the genre in the Grand Duchy is without a doubt the series entitled 'De Superjhemp'. In their books, authors Lucien Czuga and Roger Leiner recount the zany adventures of a truly Luxembourgish superhero character. Comic-strip classics such as Asterix and Tintin have been adapted into Luxembourgish.The comic-strip genre comes to the fore in July each year, with the International Festival of the Comic Strip (Festival international de la bande dessinée de Contern) held in Contern.