Ralf Isau

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Ralf Isau at a reading in Stuttgart (2005)

Ralf Isau (born November 1, 1956 in Berlin ) is a German writer. He also writes under the pseudonym Jan Aalbach .


Ralf Isau initially worked as an organizational programmer, PC salesman, system analyst and branch manager of a software company, project manager and since 1996 as an independent IT consultant. By that time he had already published a children's book and three novels. He came to writing in 1988 when he started working on the Neschan trilogy . In 1992, on the occasion of a reading , he presented Michael Ende with a small, self-bound book of fairy tales (Der Drache Gertrud) that he had written for his daughter. In the end, he recommended him to Thienemann Verlag , where Ralf Isau has since published over a dozen novels for younger and older readers, which have been translated into fifteen languages ​​and have been awarded several prizes. Since 2002 he has devoted himself entirely to writing.

A characteristic of his novels, which he himself describes as " phantagons ", is the mixture of fiction with historical facts. With novels such as Der silberne Sinn (2003) and Der Herr der Unrest (2004), Ralf Isau dared to move from youth books to adult literature. In the novel Die Galerie der Lügen Oder: The Careless Sleeper (2005) he deals with Darwin's theory of evolution , which he rejects in favor of a perspective based on intelligent design .

Ralf Isau sees language as a cultural asset that needs to be looked after and preserved. He lets this concern echo more often in his stories with the means of the fantastic . He addresses it most clearly in his novel Pala and the strange volatility of words (2002), in which an entire city is struck by a mysterious speechlessness. In order to enhance everyday language with good texts, he founded an agency for text development in autumn 2012, which he called Phantagon .

Isau lives with his wife in Asperg near Ludwigsburg .


  • The museum of stolen memories : Buxtehuder Bullen for the best youth book of 1997, book of the year 1998 (JuBuCrew Göttingen), book of the month February 1998 (JuBuCrew Göttingen), sponsored by Inter Nations
  • The network of shadow games: Book of the year 1999 (JuBuCrew Göttingen), 3rd place in the prize of the Moerser youth book jury 1999/2000


Single novels

Neschan trilogy

The circle of twilight

The Chronicles of Mirad

The circle of phantanauts

Legends of fantasies

The broken world

Works under the pseudonym Jan Aalbach

Web links

supporting documents

  1. Ralf Isau: The secret of my stage name is out