Bernhard Schlink is a German jurist and writer. He became a judge at the Constitutional Court of the federal state of North Rhine-Westphalia in 1988 and has been a professor of public law and the philosophy of law at Humboldt University, Berlin, Germany since January 2006.His career as a writer began with several detective novels with a main character named Selb--a play on the German word for "self." In 1995 he published The Reader (Der Vorleser), a partly autobiographical novel. The book became a bestseller both in Germany and the United States and was translated into 39 languages. It was the first German book to reach the number one position in the New York Times bestseller list.