Kübra Gümüşay

c/o Hanser Berlin – Lehrter Straße 57, Haus 4, 10557 Berlin

Büro betreut von Julia Obermann

Bürozeiten: dienstags 9.00 – 13.00 + donnerstags 9.00 – 13.00

Bei Interviewanfragen, Lesungen und alle anderen Fragen zu meinem Buch “Sprache und Sein”
hilft Ihnen gerne mein Verlag weiter:

Hanser Berlin

Thomas Rohde
thomas.rohde@hanser.de, +49 30 252 948 015


published in German: published in German: Hanser Berlin, 27. Januar 2020

This book pursues a yearning. A yearning for a language that does not reduce people to categories, for a form of speaking that lets people exist in their rich diversity, for true communal thinking in a polarized world. Kübra Gümüşay has long been advocating equality and engagement on equal footing in public discourses. In her first book, she explores the question of how language dictates politics and shapes the way we think. She demonstrates how seeing people as part of a group forces them to express themselves as such and makes them invisible as individuals. But how can human beings talk as humans. And how can we all – in a time when hate speech becomes increasingly prevalent – cultivate a different way of communicating with each other?


“Sprache und Sein”
can be purchased at all bookstores, at my publisher Hanser Berlin Verlag, as a soft cover at btb Verlag [Penguin Random House] and on Amazon.

For press inquiries please contact my agent Franziska Günther at Graf & Graf: guenther@agenturgraf.de

For readings please contact my assistant Julia Obermann (click here).


SPIEGEL Bestseller (Hardcover, non-fiction) (number of placements: 52; Highest ranking: 3, edition 14/2020) (status of January 2020)

The ZEIT-Bestseller-List in non-fiction for February 2020 (ranked 5th) and March (ranked 3rd) and April (ranked 5th) 

“Beste Sachbücher 2020” – Die Welt

Shortlisted for the WISSEN-Sachbuchpreis of WBG, a german foundation for humanities

For a selection of the reception of the book, see here.


»Ein beeindruckendes Buch, poetisch und politisch zugleich. Es fordert uns dazu auf, die Grenzen in unseren Köpfen zu hinterfragen – und abzuschaffen.«


»Kübra Gümüsay seziert die Architektur unserer Sprache auf der Suche nach einem neuen Haus, in dem Platz für alle ist. Ein leidenschaftliches, elegant geschriebenes, dringliches Plädoyer.«


»Dieses Buch ist wunderbar dafür geeignet, Sprache von der Zunge ins Ohr und über das Herz in den Verstand zu bringen.«


»Wer darf sprechen, wer wird gehört? Ein kluges, mitreißendes, wichtiges Buch, in dem Kübra Gümüsay mit unserer Sprache auch unsere Denkgewohnheiten hinterfragt.«


»Kübra Gümüsay zeigt uns, wie mächtig Sprache ist und wie sie zugleich feine Grenzen zieht. Und das Beste: Großartig schreiben kann sie auch!«


»Kübra Gümüsay baut Brücken und rüttelt auf. Ihr Buch, so intellektuell wie gefühlvoll, zeigt einmal mehr, wie zentral der Anspruch auf Zugehörigkeit ist.«


“Gümüşay’s most remarkable feat is having written this book using rare language. It is much quieter, more poetic, more colourful and often more intricate than much other current writing on the topics of racism, right-wing extremism and xenophobia. It is partly inspired by the sound and possibilities of other languages such as Turkish or Arabic. It raises questions about where others are looking for answers – questions that are often so stimulating that they continue to have an effect long after the reading.“ 

Jutta Rinas, Hannoversche Allgemeine, 08.02.20


„Wer Gümüsays Buch … liest, sieht manches eigene Verhaltensmuster, manche Gedankenlosigkeit anders. Die Stärke des Buches leigt in dieser Zumutung einer anderen Perspektive und der Erschütterung der eigenen.“

Martin Ebel, Tages-Anzeiger, 22.02.20


„Kübra Gümüsay erzählt, argumentiert, zitiert ‚Sprache und Sein‘ mit solch einer Dringlichkeit, Fantasie und furchtloser analytischer Schärfe, dass jede Seite ein Hochgenuss ist. Man hört, spricht anders danach und will das Buch in die Schulen tragen.“
Barbara Weitzel, WELT am Sonntag, 16.02.20


„An intelligent, a very personal book…. with an important message.“
Pascal Fischer, SWR lesenswert, 12.2.20


“Language and Being is a polemical plea for a new use of language in public discourse. A polemic, however, that counteracts the battle cries with a personal tone and an inviting gesture to start a dialogue.“

Paul Stoop, Deutschlandfunk, 10.02.20


“Language and Being is a passionate defence of cultural diversity. Contrary to what the title suggests, it does not resemble Heidegger in the least. It formulates the aspiration to live without stigmatisation. The book is a reckoning with our linguistic habits: because the first tool of discriminatory practices is words.”

Katharina Teutsch, Die Zeit, 30.01.20


“Der Kampf um Individualität, um die eigene Sprache, der Kampf darum, den Graben zu schließen, zwischen dem, was sie sich entschieden hat zu sein, und dem, worauf sie festgelegt wird – und zwar der kollektive Kampf aller Marginalisierten und im Speziellen ihrer Generation: Kübra Gümüsays Buch ist dafür ein kraftvolles, mit vielen interessanten Verweisen und Zitaten gespicktes Manifest.”
Ambros Waibel, taz, 29.01.20


“Language and Being is based on what progressive communities refer to as empowerment: the attempt to raise up others through advocacy, thus helping them stand up for themselves and their rights. Gümüşay is very well-versed in the current discourses of anti-racism and net feminism, and synthesises them compactly in her book.”

Hanna Engelmeier, Zeit Online, 29.01.20


“Precise, clever and extremely readable Gümüşay’s first work is an important, thought-provoking commentary. Gümüşay’s passionate plea for a new, free language and a new, free way of thinking questions the status quo.”

Madeleine Gullert, Aachener Nachrichten, 28.01.2020


“Gümüşay’s book is strongest when the author shows by her own example how she, as a person with a name among the nameless, holds on to her dream of a society in which ‘everyone can speak and be equal’. Her democratic aim to make language a home for everyone is presented wisely and passionately.”

Ralph Gerstenberg, Deutschlandfunk, 27.01.2020


“The book title Language and Being sounds like Heidegger, but it’s not about being thrust into our linguistic present: it is about the mission to shape it.”

Marc Reichwein, Die Welt, 27.01.20


“The issues Gümüşay raises are important: an awareness of the power of language, the current shift in discourse to the right, her plea for letting people speak outside of categories.”

Azade Pesmen, Deutschlandfunk Kultur, 27.01.20


“This book is an act of liberation – and a clever essay of literary quality and political strength.”

Martina Läubli, Neue Zürcher Zeitung, 26.01.20