Had anyone told him a few years ago that he would end up in Hannover-Langenhagen, Jesse Bronske would not have believed them. Neither would he have trusted anyone who suggested that Mona, who works at the cash register in the supermarket inside of which Jesse runs a bar called »Klaus Meine«, would become the woman by his side. From the moment he is born, Jesse's aspirations to be extraordinary are doomed to fail: his identical twin Aaron looks so much like him that not even their father can tell the two boys apart. Thus Jesse grows up the exact copy of his older brother in Hamburg-Rahlstedt where their father – the owner of a snack stand and an Elvis impersonator – slowly but surely turns the house into an Elvis museum. Jesse moves to Langenhagen in order to leave all of that behind and begin a new life. But despite his relationship with Mona and the (possibly) imaginary pen pal Klaus Meine, Jesse cannot let go of the fear of being interchangeable. One day, while incessant rain slowly makes its way into the house and threatens to flood everything, Jesse notices a figure in a nearby cornfield. All of the sudden he is certain: Aaron has returned to his life in order to replace him. However, Jesse is prepared...
SUPERBUHEI is a literary-psychological thriller a sub-urban novel, a viscous romantic comedy, a cross between Sven Regener’s Herr Lehmann, Frank Schulz’ Onno Viets and Fight Club. Sven Amtsberg's furious and long-awaited debut novel takes us into previously unknown realms of reading pleasure. His unique sound carries the reader from one page to the next and his tone is just as sharp as his wit.
Sven Amtsberg was born in 1972 and lives in Hamburg. He is a writer and he hosts and presents for a diverse array of entertainment formats. In 2001 and 2008, he received a prize for promising young writers from the city of Hamburg, while in 2011 he was granted a work scholarship by the federal state Schleswig-Holstein. His latest publications include: »The Truth About Germany« (2011), »111 Reasons to Love the FC St. Pauli« (2013) as well as »Paranormal Phenomena – 20 Stories that Are Almost True.« (2015). »SUPERBUHEI«, is his debut as a novelist.
3sat Prize 2016, Nicolas Born Prize for Best Young Author 2017, Longlist German Book Prize 2017, Robert Gernhardt Prize 2018
Rights sold to: France (Le Castor Astral)
Every day, the retired entrepreneur Walter Nowak swims his laps in the outdoor pool. An encounter on a particularly hot morning throws him off kilter and the consequences are fatal: Walter finds himself stretched out on his bathroom floor, unable to move, his head throbbing. He thinks of Yvonne, but she has taken off for a conference. Walter is on his own. »From now on it's downwards, ever downwards« he thinks. And it seems to be true. He continues to lose control over the situation. He finds himself buried underneath thought fragments and images from the past: there is that Christmas Eve with Gisela, her pork roast, her tears; the look on the face of his son Felix when he learns about the separation; memories from his own childhood as the son of an American GI born out of wedlock and finally, the diagnosis his urologist has just revealed to him. While all the images get more and more blurry, his thoughts begin to move in circles that grow smaller and smaller – nearing a hidden core, the beginning or the end … When the summer storm finally begins to thunder, his son Felix suddenly appears in front of his door.
Julia Wolf turns her protagonist inside out with great narrative authority: Walter Nowak, an aging man, a child of the post-war era, finds himself at a crossroads. His stream of consciousness takes the reader on a fascinating journey into the human psyche and showcases Julia Wolf's virtuous command of language.
Julia Wolf, born in 1980 in Groß-Gerau, Germany, now lives in Berlin and Leipzig. For her debut novel »Alles ist jetzt« (»Everything Is Now«) she was awarded the Kunstpreis Literatur, a prize funded by the Brandenburg Lotto GmbH, and she also received numerous grants. At Ingeborg Bachmann Competition 2016, she read an excerpt from her novel »Walter Nowak won’t get up« and received the prestigious 3sat Prize in the process. In 2017 she was awarded the Nicolas-Born-Prize for the best debut and longlisted for the German Book Prize 2017. For her novel project »Old Girls« she was awarded the notable Robert Gernhardt Prize 2018.
German Book Prize 2016, 21st Century Best Foreign Novel of the Year 2017 award (China)
Rights sold to:
France (Gallimard), Italy (Neri Pozza Editore), The Netherlands (Lebowski), Denmark (Bechs Forlag), Czech Republic, (Akropolis), China ( People’s Literature Publishing House), Korea (Redsamnamu), Turkey (Can Yayınları), Greece (Aiora Press), Egypt (General Authority für kulturelle Paläste, Ministerium für Kultur)
Until recently, Reither ran a small publishing company in the big city, now he lives a solitary life on the edge of the Alps. In the evening, his pondering over a mysterious book is interrupted by the sound of the doorbell. He opens the door and right there and then, the encounter which will take him to Sicily within three days, begins. The hand that takes him there is Leonie Palm's. Leonie used to own a hat-shop. But now that the world lacks faces that look good with hats on and writers have come to outnumber readers, they both had good reasons to quit. Yet, an even stronger bond between the two is provided by the fact that neither of them is prepared for true love anymore. Upon arrival on the Mediterranean, after three full days in the car, this love does hit them and they are joined by a girl who does not speak a single word. She is just there ...
In his novella »Widerfahrnis«, Bodo Kirchhoff presents the parable of a twofold fall: into love, without being able to fully feel it and into humanity, without being good enough.
Bodo Kirchhoff, born in 1948, is one of the most important and well-known authors of the contemporary German literature. His last two novels »Desire and Melancholy« (2014) and »Love in Broad Strokes« (2012) were published with Frankfurter Verlagsanstalt and celebrated by readers and critics alike. His novella »Widerfahrnis« has been awarded the German Book Prize 2016 and the Dutch edition (Lebowski 2017) has been longlisted for the Europese Literatuurprijs 2018. The Chinese translation of Widerfahrnis was announced as the 21st Century Best Foreign Novel of the Year 2017.
Sold to: Clevo Books (US)
»Right about noon on March 10th in 1902, nobody suspected that the downfall of the Kohanim family was about to begin.«
Samuel Kohanim, the head of one of the oldest Jewish families in Western Prussia, is used to a more than average share of sorrow. His wife Mindel, harsh and taciturn, bore him seven daughters. Each of »seven biblical plagues«, as they are known in the village, tests his patience: Selma gets everyone meschugge with her religious quirk; Martha constantly makes up new ludicrous lies; Fanny proves particularly hard to marry off; Elly is a wild child ... – and finally Franziska who is ravishingly beautiful, proud, stubborn and »delivers catastrophes at the flick of a switch«. Yet, there is no heir – their only son dies just after his birth on March10th.
At the end of the First World War the family seeks refuge in Berlin. While Martha marries into the upper class of the city, with her husband converting to Christianity, Franziska gets into a relationship with the Jewish collier Willy Rubin who is just as charismatic as he is unreliable. Together they move into the working class »Red Wedding«. And then there is the protestant Oda, a friend of the family who also ends up in Berlin. Throughout the difficult 1930s, Oda's fate becomes completely intertwined with that of the Kohanims, whose family tree is putting out various new shoots: Jewish, National Socialist, as well as communist.
Marcia Zuckermann has created an amazing Jewish family saga that refrains from going into epic territory. It is catchy, exciting, rich in plot and surprising up to the very last page, claiming its place in the tradition of Jewish storytelling. The line between tragedy and comedy is blurred as its protagonists survive and outwit the bitter blows of fate with unconditional irony towards themselves and that liberatingly sly humor.
Marcia Zuckermann was born in 1947 in East Berlin. Her Jewish father survived the Holocaust despite being interned as a political prisoner in the concentration camp Buchenwald, while her protestant mother was a communist, active in the resistance. Nevertheless, in 1958, the family had to flee from East Berlin since they were considered dissidents there. Today, Marcia Zuckermann lives and works in Berlin as a freelance journalist and writer.
SWR »List of the best« April 2016
Margarete, 45, is a plastic surgeon with her own practice in Zurich. Day in and day out, she is confronted with the manifestations of ongoing physical deterioration. Even she is not spared from it, a fact that she is ready to face up to. Why do men desire her nevertheless? Maybe that is because she masters the art of seduction with the same precision she applies while performing liposuction or knee lift surgery. At a conference in Berlin she meets Heinrich, a preeminent plastic surgeon. And she decides: It is he whom she will love. Between the two, a lover's game ensues. It promises to call back into life what had already seemed lost. Yet when the two embark on a mountain hike, the game spirals out of control.
In her fourth novel, Corinna T. Sievers turns her protagonists inside out: Margarete, the fascinating, provocative heroine of her story is fragile and ambitious, tender and determined. In this abysmal love story, Corinna Sievers ventures into open-heart surgery. And the reader knows: not everyone will make it out alive.
Corinna T. Sievers was born on the German island Fehmarn and spent her childhood at the Baltic sea. Later she studied politics, medicine and dental medicine in Hamburg, Frankfurt on the Main and Kiel. Today she lives in Zurich where she works as an orthodontist. Her first novel »Samenklau« (»The Stolen Seed«) was published in 2010 with the Frankfurter Verlagsanstalt.
A youth spent in late 1980s Soviet Union, a story of love and disappointment, of farewell and departure. Anna Galkina's perspective on the harsh realities of life in Russia is so unrelenting and fearless that it goes straight to the heart.
Tamara, the matronly director of a library who is revitalized by her relationship with the sickly Wiktor; Sergej with his faux leather sandals whose barn is a popular hangout for the youth; and the three “sluts”: Lena with her mustache, Dina whose father is in jail and Oksana who is an expert when it comes to abortions.
Nastja has been observing them ever since she was a little girl. She lives with her mother and grandmother in a small town not far from Moscow that is long past its prime. Meat and dairy products are just as hard to come by as a private telephone line or running water. The residents dwell in small wooden shacks, surrounded by buckets and canning jars, they drink bitter beer and moonshine, they curse and delight, they love and hit each other. At first, the narrator Nastja seems to be above it all, but then she is sucked right into the pop-up panorama of the Russian province. She lives through stories full of poetry and violence, tragedy and humor, episodes with unknown outcomes – until she falls in love with the young soldier Dima and it seems as though her life is about to take an unexpected turn.
»The Cold Light of Distant Stars« is an unusual and vibrant debut, an outstanding novel of rare charm. Anna Galkina’s voice is both adamant and lighthearted and she tells the tales of her protagonists with such great warmth and humor that they continue to resonate for a long time.
Anna Galkina, born and raised in Moscow, came to Germany with her parents in 1996. After receiving a degree in computer science she has been working as a software test engineer, a painter and a photographer. Anna Galkina currently lives in Bonn and writes in German. »The Cold Light of Distant Stars« is her first novel, in 2017 Frankfurter Verlagsanstalt has published her second novel »The New Life«.
Jürgen Ponto Prize for Best Debut 2015
18-year-old Marie is deeply disappointed by life. She feels not belonging to the world. She loathes the evenings with her housemates, and can’t stand the advice that Sarah, the well-meaning medical attendant, tries to offer. Psychiatric hospital was even worse: she never wants to go there again, and this is the only reason she accepts the deal offered to her by her therapist, Willi. He promises to keep her out of medical institutions if she gives her word that she will attend every single one of her therapy sessions with him. Above all, she also has to promise that she won’t contemplate suicide for at least one year. On one of her visits to Willi’s office Marie meets Emanuel. Despite her conviction that people her own age are idiots, and the concern that Emanuel may be even more damaged than she is, she agrees to go on a date. They become involved and Marie mentions her desire to end her life. They make an outrageous agreement – but the results are quite different from what either of them expect ...
Sandra Weihs, born in Klagenfurt in 1983, lives in Upper Austria and Vienna. She studied social work, and works with deprived children, adolescents and families. Her debut novel, »Das grenzenlose Und« (»The Limitless And«), was awarded the 2015 literary prize of the Jürgen Ponto Foundation.
Mara, a writer, has been returning to the same little Croatian island for years now. She loves its smell – of sun, sea, salt and rosemary – and the caprices of its changing winds. But this summer is different. The wind bora is stormier than usual, and the equilibrium of Mara’s life has also been disturbed. One morning Andrej arrives on the island, a photographer who travels restlessly around the world. Like so many people from the island, his parents fled Tito’s dictatorship in the 1960s, emigrating to Hoboken, New Jersey. Mara and Andrej become close, but as Mara probes deeper and deeper into Andrej’s family story of rootlessness and yearning for a sense of home, both are forced to make a decision.
In high-resolution images, Ruth Cerha tells of two seekers who meet and find themselves unexpectedly confronted with the possibility of great love. »Bora. A Story of the Wind« is a novel of wild beauty: it examines, with great sensitivity, the risks of true closeness, and what it means to feel at home.
Ruth Cerha, born in Vienna in 1963, studied psychology and was a musician and composer with a number of bands before starting to write prose in 2004. Following her short story collection, »The Song of the Wheels on the Rails« (2007), and her novels »Head Out of the Clouds« (2010) and »One-Tenth Brothers« (2012), Frankfurter Verlagsanstalt published her novel »Bora. A Story of the Wind« (2015), for which she was awarded the Austrian State Scholarship for Literature.
BDI Literature Prize of the Association of Arts and Culture of the German Economy 2016
Sold to: Egypt (Mahrousa)
Holle is an artist from Berlin. She takes pictures of cities and empty spaces to capture their hidden energy. She spends several months in Istanbul, an achingly beautiful city she tries to understand in a new way, leaving behind her dividing terms like occident and orient. But then the encounter with Christoph Wanka causes her to sway. Although Wanka represents everything Holle is opposed to in her life and art, this silky and successful businessman fascinates her. When Wanka offers to finance her next project in Mumbai, Holle, in an endless trial of strength, has to question her whole life script and concept of art. Back in Istanbul, she would love nothing better than to get lost in the labyrinthine body of the city. When the Gezi Park demonstrations begin and the whole city is in turmoil, it seems the perfect opportunity ...
»The Endless City« tells the story of two women in two adventurous cities, Istanbul and Mumbai, and their search for an existence in accordance with their values. An eclectic and outstanding novel about art, power and the fragile construction of identity.
Ulla Lenze, born in Mönchengladbach in 1973, studied music and philosophy in Cologne. In 2003 her debut novel »Schwester und Bruder« was awarded the Ernst Willner Prize at the Klagenfurt Bachmann Competition, the Jürgen Ponto Prize for best debut novel, and Cologne’s Rolf Dieter Brinkmann Scholarship. She lived as a writer-in-residence in Mumbai, Venice and Istanbul, travels have taken her to Libya, Syria and Iran. Her novel »The Small Remains of Death« was published by Frankfurter Verlagsanstalt in 2012.
Sold to: Turkey (Can), Egypt (Masr El Arabia)
Since his wife passed away nine years ago after a leap from 43 meters height, Hinrich lives alone. He wallows in memories of Irene, the mother of his daughter and a translator for high Italian literature. He remembers the summers in Italy, their journeys to Rome and Pompeji, where they lingered in front of the frescoes of the Villa dei Misteri for hours to understand their meaning. They loved cinema, the melancholy of the black-and-white images, but were also seduced by something light. However, what has really happened nine years ago? And what does the letter with the black edging contain? Only a journey to Warsaw can bring light into the dark.
»Desire and Melancholy« is charged with emotionally subtle suspense, a novel which takes the reader on a quest. Slowly but relentless, the protagonist discovers the truth about his wife’s death. Bodo Kirchhoff’s masterful novel is about aging and longing, describing the desire to stay eternally young and a melancholy that turns out to offer some solace at the end.
Bodo Kirchhoff, born in 1948, is one of the most important and well-known authors of the contemporary German literature. His last two novels »Desire and Melancholy« (2014) and »Love in Broad Strokes« (2012) were published with Frankfurter Verlagsanstalt and celebrated by readers and critics alike. His novella »Widerfahrnis« has been awarded the German Book Prize 2016.
The international bestseller of the award-winning author: more than one million copies sold worldwide!
The English edition, published by Scribe, was awarded The Warwick Prize for Women in Translation, nominated for the 2020 International Booker Prize and won the PEN translates award 2016.
BDI Literature Prize of the Association of Arts and Culture of the German Economy 2015, Anna Seghers Literature Prize 2015, Bertolt Brecht Literature Prize 2018, Schiller Memorial Prize 2019
Sold to: United Kingdom, Australia & USA (Scribe), Armenia (Antares), Spain & Latin America (Alfaguara), Estonia (Rahva Raamat), France (Gallimard), Catalan language (Navona), Italy (Marsilio), The Netherlands (Atlas contact), Norway (Aschehoug), Denmark (Gutkind), Sweden (it-lit), China (Xiron), Czech Republic (Host), Croatia (Fraktura), Poland (Otwarte), Georgia (Intelekti), Bulgaria (Paradox), Hungary (Európa), Romania (Editura Trei), Russia (AST), Ukraine (Komora), Lithuania (Alma Littera), Serbia (Booka), Slovenia (Mladinska knjiga), Marco Polo Publishing (Korea), Saudi Arabia (Athar), Finnland (Aula & Co), Slovakia (Inaque)
»The Eighth Life (For Brilka)« is an epochal novel about a family, a powerfully written epos about eight exceptional lives in the vicissitudes of Georgian-Russian War and Revolution.
Georgia in 1900: Stasia, daughter of a chocolate factory‘s owner, and her three sisters grow up in the upper echelons of Georgian society. She dreams of a life in Paris and a career in ballet but at 17 marries a White Guard soldier. When Stalin becomes the sole leader of the Soviet Union, the socialist squads enjoy the good life, whilst the country’s impoverished population suffers. Stasia and her children Kitty and Kostja seek shelter in the house of Stasia’s sister Christine in Tbilisi. But when Stalin’s right-hand man Lawrenti Beria takes notice of Chistine’s astonishing beauty and unworldly manner, it has disastrous consequences …
Germany in 2006: After the fall of the Iron Curtain Niza, Stasia’s brilliant great-granddaughter, has broken with her family and moved to Berlin. When her twelve-year-old niece Brilka runs away during a trip to the west, Niza has to care about her. In search for her own identity, she will tell Brilka the whole story: about Stasia, silently affronting history, about Christine, who paid dearly for her beauty, about Kitty, who lost everything and still found a voice in London. And about the secret recipe for the family’s Hot Chocolate, which has offered both salvation and misfortune for six generations.
Nino Haratischwili, born in Georgia in 1983, is an award-winning novelist, playwright and director. In 2010 her debut »Juja« was nominated for the German Book Prize. The following year, »My Gentle Twin« won the Independent Publishers’ Hotlist Prize and has been sold to several countries. »The Eighth Life (For Brilka)« has been awarded the prestigious Literature Prize of the Association of Arts and Culture of the German Economy 2015, the Anna Seghers Literature Prize 2015, the Hertha Koenig Prize 2017, the Fellowship of the Lessing Prize 2017 , the Bertolt Brecht Literature Prize 2018 and the Schiller Memorial Prize 2019. The Dutch edition (Atlas contact 2016) has been longlisted for the Europese Literatuurprijs 2018. On top of that, the English translation by Charlotte Collins and Ruth Martin (Scribe), already selected for the PEN Translates award 2016, was nominated for the prestigious 2020 International Booker Prize.
Bittersweet tales by the author of the »Pollen Room«
These characters may appear fragile, but they demonstrate unexpected strength. The ground trembles beneath their feet, but they do not fall: they strike out in moments of danger, and escape their cages as soon as they feel the wind beneath their wings.
Ginza, for example, who asserts her independence by sharing a tiny flat with friends and working as a tourist guide in the vibrant, overwhelming megacity of Shangai. Or Sophie, a shy woman in her fifties, whose headstrong daughter Clarice brings her photographer boyfriend on a visit to the family’s summer cottage. It comes as a surprise when Sophie suddenly blossoms under the camera’s gaze, upsetting the family balance.
Mike, a young stepfather to two girls, is quietly fighting for recognition. His wife has very clear ideas about how her daughters should be raised: she only buys organic food, and throws out any clothes made of polyester. Mike secretly takes his stepdaughters to an ice cream parlour, in a battle for life’s sweetness that he can never hope to win. In another story, young Elena, watching a black condor crane his skinny, vulnerable neck, as he struggles to fly inside his cage, is reminded of her elopement.
Beneath each of Zoë Jenny’s soft sentences lie darkness and profundity, pervading them with a subtle melancholy. Fear of loss and the awareness of vulnerability resonate just below the surface, and we sense that the characters in her stories are deeply troubled - but their power should not be underestimated. Zoë Jenny captivates the reader with these haunting, bittersweet tales.
Zoë Jenny was born in Basel in 1974 and spent parts of her childhood in Greece and Ticino. Her first novel, »The Pollen Room« (FVA 1997), was a global bestseller and has been translated into 27 languages. Following this success, Zoë Jenny was invited to give readings and talks at schools and universities in Japan, China and the U.S. She has lived in New York, Berlin and London, and currently resides in Austria. She has published two more novels – »The Call of the Conch Shell« (FVA 2000) and »The Portrait« (FVA 2007). »Spätestens morgen« is her first short story collection.