The German Crocodile with Ijoma Mangold

04 November 2021, 6:00 pm–7:00 pm

The German Crocodile with Ijoma Mangold and Ruth Kemp

Join us for the first of two events that will explore Ijoma Mangold’s memoir, The German Crocodile, newly translated into English by Ruth Kemp.

This event is free.

Event Information

Open to







Jeff Bowersox

Join us for readings from Mangold's memoir, newly translated into English, and lively discussion on a literary life, family, and race.

About this event

Join us for readings from Ijoma Mangold's memoir The German Crocodile, newly translated into English by Ruth Ahmedzai Kemp. We will have lively discussion of a literary life, family between Germany and Nigeria, and experiences of race and belonging. How does a boy cope with an absent father? What was it like to grow up ‘bi-racial’? Was he an opportunist, a master adaptor who had over-assimilated? What is the relationship between race and class? And what is more unusual in Germany: having brown skin or a passion for Thomas Mann and Richard Wagner? Ijoma shares his story with its dramatic twists and turns, not forgetting the surprises, he uncovers about himself along the way.

Ijoma Mangold was born in Heidelberg in 1971 and studied literature and philosophy in Munich and Bologna. After working for the newspapers Berliner Zeitung and Süddeutsche Zeitung, he moved to Germany’s weekly Die Zeit in 2009, where he was literary editor in chief from 2013 to 2018. He is now Die Zeit’s cultural-political correspondent and one of four literary critics on the SWR show Lesenswert. Ijoma is regularly on the jury of major prizes for contemporary German literature. A recipient of the Berlin Prize for Literary Criticism, he has also held visiting professorships at the University of Göttingen, Germany and at the University of Saint Louis, USA. Ijoma lives in Berlin.

The discussion will be moderated by Seb Coxon and Jeff Bowersox of UCL's School of European Languages, Culture & and Society.

The second event in this series will be held on 18th November. Please follow this link for details and to book a place.

The German Crocodile