Interview: Anna Müller
For the second interview in our Hēroïne Series, we spoke to Anna Müller, a 26 year old publisher and filmmaker from Berlin. We talked about her first book publishing project, the film she is working on now and how she feels being a woman working in a creative field.
How did you get into book publishing?
There was always a pressure on me to write because my father was a writer in the GDR, but I never really felt like I could or that I wanted to, so I thought about how I could work with books without actually writing myself. That’s how the idea (to be a book publisher) started. When my favorite place in Berlin closed, the Kingsize bar, three years ago my first project was born. I thought it would be better to let the bar live on by making a whole book about it.
Which writers made you want to become a book publisher?
That’s a good question actually, I never really thought about that to be honest. I think the book that actually stuck with me the most was always The Catcher in the Rye, but I don’t know if it was the book that led me to publishing. I think that was more a film idea I had.
What are you reading right now?
I am reading Thomas Brasch, he was a friend of my father, the playwright Heiner Müller. I’m reading his poems right now, they’re really beautiful, I haven’t experienced them before.
What kind of books are you most interested in publishing?
I would say novels. We've published mostly short stories until now, but novels are books where you live in that world for a while and that’s what I really appreciate about them.
What are you working on at the moment?
At the moment, I am trying to get into film. I am working on a documentary with my mother about my father. He died when I was three and I never really got to know him. My mother is a filmmaker and I’ve seen her make amazing movies. I thought, why not get to know my father better and why not work with the woman in my life, my mother. I want to do a kind of road trip movie, travelling around the world and asking people what he meant to them, what his texts meant to them, his plays, getting to know my family better and my roots.
What direction would you like your career to go in?
A dream project would be The Catcher in the Rye as a movie. It’s impossible to do though because you can’t get the rights to it. I’ve heard many people have already tried. That would be my absolute dream project to make a movie out of that. I still want to do publishing too, I really love working with texts. I love working with writers and I think it's a medium that deserves to be supported. We live in times where doing your own thing and creating your own company, especially as a woman, is getting at least a little easier and I think there's a lot of support.
How does it feel being a woman in a creative field?
I think it’s becoming easier to work in a creative field as a woman, although there are still boundaries about how people work together and how women should work. But, I like that you can now be more free and more open about what you want and how you want to have it and you can create your own kind of universe around what you love.
Do you think that being a woman influences your work in any way?
Of course it does, very much. I think there is a pain that we are born with which is always there. I think that working on projects that we love to do is our way out of that kind of painful situation. I guess it’s the way to really feel yourself.
What do you hope will change in the future for women?
I mean there’s still a lot to do, I think the most important thing is to always remember to not say ‘oh we’ve come so far now, there’s nothing to do anymore, we’re good, we don’t have to be feminists now’. There’s always going to be some kind of inequality, I don’t think there’s ever going to stop being a fight for woman and for men.
Hēroïne Series is a collection of interviews with women who embody the spirit of a heroine. They are empowered modern women who are confident in many aspects of their lives, whilst being supportive to other women.