Prinz Eisenherz Buchhandlung gay book store Berlin

Prinz Eisenherz Buchhandlung is Berlin’s definitive queer bookstore, presided over by friendly co-owners Franz Brandmeier and Roland Müller-Flashar. Located in Motzstraße in the heart of Schöneberg, Berlin’s traditional gay neighbourhood, Eisenherz has been in business for more than 40 years. On the store’s shelves one can find a thorough selection ranging from History titles to Biography to Fiction both classic and contemporary. Müller-Flashar, who has worked for Eisenherz for 31 years, says even in a digital age it is vital to have a queer bookstore. “The Internet is artificial. In a bookstore you see real books and (interact with) real people,” he said.

For young people in the process of coming out, Müller-Flashar had this to say: “It’s so relaxing to take the first step (in coming out) and talk to people. I still believe books are a good support.” Asked what he counts among his favourite titles, Müller-Flashar names Christopher Isherwood’s A Single Man. First published in 1964, the novel focuses on the internal life of a British professor living in Southern California, struggling to cope with the death of his lover. It is one of the few novels that Müller-Flashar enjoyed enough to read twice. “When I read it again, I trembled,” he said. Today Eisenherz stands out for being among just a handful of surviving queer bookstores in the world. Others include Le Mots a La Bouche in Paris, France, and Glad Day Bookshop in Toronto, Ontario, Canada.

For people who love gay literature Prinz Eisenherz Buchhandlung absolutely must be visited.

This article was written by January 2020 project member Josh Bentley-Swan

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