Arezu Weitholz was born 1968 to an Iranian woman and a Turkish man, and grew up in a German family up in rural Niedersachsen. After school she trained as a bank clerk for Deutsche Bank, then went on to study economic sciences in Hannover, only to abandon the world of finance for becoming a journalist at the then very successful lifestyle magazine MAX in Hamburg, in 1992.
After a brief internship and stints in the fashion-, travel- and nightlife-departments, she ran the music department as editor until 1996. She then moved to South Africa and occasionally worked there as a DJ in clubs and at parties, playing Drum&Bass and HipHop.
After her return to Europe in 1997 she worked as an editor for Süddeutsche Zeitung Magazine and Spiegel Spezial, the monthly magazine of DER SPIEGEL.
In 2000 she relocated to London, working as a freelance foreign correspondent, covering all topics but economy and sports for German print media.
It was there, where German artist Herbert Grönemeyer asked her to collaborate with him on his lyrics for Mensch, the multimillion bestselling album, which is until today the most successful German record of all time, winning her 9 times platinum. She later worked or collaborated or edited lyrics for many German bands and artists (see Wikipedia).
Her first book was a volume of poetry: Mein lieber Fisch, published by an independent publishing house in 2010, which she illustrated herself. Her fish poems became an instant hit, and the book and its softcover sold about 10.000 copies. More fish poetry books followed, the last one being a “best of”, published in 2017: Der Fisch ist ein Gedicht.
Her first novel Wenn die Nacht am stillsten ist, was published in 2012 to great critical acclaim. Her second prose was published in 2020: Beinahe Alaska, a fictional account of a woman travelling into the Arctic, trying to get to Alaska. It was a surprise hit during the various lockdowns in Germany and won her the prestigious Hans Fallada literature awards in 2022.
As well, in 2022 she published Zu Mensch, an illustrated non fiction/graphic novel-retelling of the “making of” of Mensch, together with German illustrator Katrin Funcke.
Her illustrations have appeared in Frankfurter Allgemeine Sonntagszeitung, the Sunday edition of Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung, as well as in the women’s magazine Brigitte WIR.
She currently works and lives in Berlin and Schleswig-Holstein and will spend 2023 mostly travelling for Frankfurter Allgemeine Sonntagszeitung, working on her next book.
Fish poetry, Zu Mensch: Kunstmann Verlag
Beinahe Alaska: mare Verlag
Wenn die Nacht am stillsten ist: email@example.com
Lyrics: Grönland Records