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Udo Steinke (* 2. Mai 1942 in Lódz; † 12. Oktober 1999 in Munich) was a German writer.

The chaos of World War II brought Steinke's family from Poland to Eilenburg, Germany in 1947. Udo Steinke attended the local school for miners from 1948 to 1956 and thereafter learned the trade of candy-maker at the Henze Candy Factory. He is the father of the free-lance artist Falk-Ingo Renner und Anatomist Dr. Hanno Steinke.

From 1960 to 1965 he studied Literature in Leipzig and later worked as an editor at the local publishing house Leipziger VEB Druck und Verlag. In 1968 he defected to West Germany while on a business trip there. He settled in Munich. Beyond odd jobs, he was also a journalist and the head of advertising at the official German language and culture school, Goethe-Institut, in Munich.

Steinke made his literary breakthrough in 1980 with his short story Ich kannte Talmann, which won the Bavarian Literature Prize. Six books followed. An oft-repeated theme in his work is the division in Germany, e.g. in Doppeldeutsch. Steinke was friends with Heinrich Böll, Willy Brandt und Hans-Dietrich Genscher.

The Steinke-Institut in Bonn and Berlin, which was co-founded by his widow, cares for his literary memory. The institute houses the Udo-Steinke-Archiv with the literary papers and letters, holds readings and is also a language school for foreign university candidates and others. 


 


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