The new novel by the internationally bestselling author of »The Eighth Life (For Brilka)«
Publishing date: 25th February 2022
Sold to: Czech Republic (HOST), Denmark (Gutkind), Georgia (Intelekti), France (Gallimard), Italy (Marsilio), Lithuania (Alma Littera), Netherlands (Meridiaan), Norway (Aschehoug), Poland (Otwarte), Slovakia (Inaque), Spain & Latin America (Alfaguara), Sweden (it-lit), US & UK (HarperVia)
& more in negotiation!
»Lack Of Light« is the story of four outstanding women bound in absolute friendship during their adolescence in post-soviet Tbilisi during the 90ies, fighting for their right for a future and their right to love – and trying to save their friendship after the harrowing death of one of them.
‘Here we stand, the trio that got away, that made the leap into the present; we, the survivors, who try to go on living as proxies for all those to whom this was not granted, and who will remain young for all eternity in these photographs.’
As the end of the century approaches, the voices calling for independence are growing ever louder. In this period of great upheaval, which culminates in chaos for the young state of Georgia, Keto, Dina, Nene and Ira grow up alongside each other in an ‘Italian courtyard’ typical of Tbilisi’s Sololaki neighbourhood. Their lives play out between damp walls, and on enchanted wooden balconies; their families’ backgrounds and social status are as different as the four girls are from one another: Dina, hungry for freedom, fatherless, living with her unconventional mother; Ira, the clever outsider; Nene, the romantic, niece of the most powerful criminal in the city; and the sensitive, motherless Keto. The first love that can only blossom in secret, the violence that erupts with the country’s new-found independence, the bloody street battles and civil wars, food rationing and power cuts – despite everything, the four women’s friendship seems indestructible, until at last it is shattered by an unforgivable betrayal and another tragic death.
In 2019, they are reunited at a major retrospective of their late friend’s photographs in Brussels. These pictures recount their story, which is simultaneously the story of their country. And so, this very intimate retrospective forces them to lift the veil drawn over their past. Suddenly, after all these years, a light is shone into the shadow world of their memories; something new is glimpsed, and forgiveness seems possible.
»Lack of Light« is the story of a lost land and a lost generation; of a revolution that devours its children; of a friendship that defies death; of phantom pain, a battle with oneself and the world, a struggle with fate. It is also a homage to Georgia, the city of Tbilisi, and its people: a declaration of love across the ages.
Nino Haratischwili, born in Tbilisi in 1983, is a multiple-award-winning novelist and dramatist and one of the most important authors of contemporary German literature. Her worldwide bestseller, the epic family saga »The Eighth Life (for Brilka)«, was translated into numerous languages and nominated for the International Booker Prize. Her novel, »The Cat and the General« was shortlisted for the German Book Prize in 2018. Nino Haratischwili lives in Berlin.
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.
Rights sold to: The Netherlands (Lebowski)
As he sets out to bring to life the eros of childhood and youth within an autobiographical novel, Bodo Kirchhoff takes us into narrow-minded, penny-pinching post-war Germany. It is these decades of dusk, these decades of turmoil, that will ultimately turn the boy into a writer.
Whose voice is it we hear when someone tells a tale from way back when? From the very same room in a small hotel by the sea, his parents had occupied decades earlier, when they’d still helped themselves to large servings of bliss, the last few of those, in fact, before they’d separated, the writer seeks to explore the emergence of his sexuality. And while he does employ professional distance in the telling of the story of his youth, putting it out there for anyone to claim, this story also remains the very path that took him into writing in the first place.
In »Dusk and Turmoil«, Bodo Kirchhoff, approaches early biographical themes within the framework of a novel, telling his own but also his parent’s stories. The beautiful young actress from Vienna and the dashing one-legged young man from Hannover who is talented but penniless – a match made by the war. Both are determined to escape the plight of these times, each in their own way. The marriage is doomed and the narrator sent off to boarding school at eleven, a dramatic escalation of small events, once again beyond all that is conceivable through language, a dance on an alluring blade of violence.
With this most recent work, Bodo Kirchhoff continues his grand literary project to consolidate language and sexuality to a point where neither will expose the other as he tells a story of eros throughout childhood and adolescence, a story of what was and what it inspired.
Bodo Kirchhoff, born in 1948, is one of the most important and well-known authors of the contemporary German literature. His 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.
»Bodo Kirchhoff is an author who succeeds in everything: Writing great dialogues. Creating scenes, developing them and, with a dreamlike sureness, interrupting them at the right time. He also has a language of rare and traditional elegance. Entirely great literature.« ZEIT online
»No punk she knew would have tolerated that. Never. There had been a code of honor in the scene, despite everything. Red lines uncrossed. Jackass and Butt-Head: always. Nazis and child molesters: never.«
A group of aging punks get caught up in their past – a fast-paced rocking-rollercoaster of a novel, accompanied by the soundtrack of a vibrant youth movement
The smell of stage smoke and sweat, booming bass, glaring neon lights and squatted houses – Bey misses all of that deeply. Before the birth of her son, the former bassist of an avant-garde punk band couldn’t have imagined living a traditional, bourgeois life – now she’s stuck on the outskirts of Amsterdam, surrounded by well-to-do mothers and no late-adolescent excesses in sight. Suddenly, the arrival of a chalk-white envelope throws her daily routine out of step: her ex-boyfriend Iggy has died. Bey sets off to Berlin for the funeral, where she finds an old audio recording among Iggy’s belongings that makes her doubt the circumstances of his death. Her investigations are met with resistance from the rest of the old punks who knew him, but lead nonetheless to incriminating evidence. When Karina, Bey’s missing nemesis, unexpectedly appears on the scene, a breathless race for cassette tape begins and a monstrous truth is revealed that shatters everything Bey and her old friends ever believed.
Yasmin Sibai’s debut novel takes place in the dark basement clubs of the nineties and secret hacker salons of the two-thousands; it roams through gentrified urban landscapes and penetrates into the black heart of a lively subculture, venting its anger with hard beats towards post-war conservatism, capitalism and commerce. In »PUNKED«, Sibai lets a utopia implode and puts her protagonist on the trail of a criminal case that sheds new light on her punk past.
Yasmin Sibai was born in northern Germany in 1976 and has since moved thirty-two times. In the eighties and nineties of the last millennium she was the singer and frontwoman of a rather insignificant avant-garde punk band, with whom she toured the smallest bars and clubs in the world for months. She has lived in Abu Dhabi, Tokyo, New York and Amsterdam, worked as an organic farmer, truck driver, freelance architect, DJane and artist. She lives with her family in Frankfurt a/M and has no plans to move in the near future.
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.
»Atmospherically dense like Marguerite Duras.« DIE ZEIT, reviewing ›Iva Breaths‹
»Her art is political. The fact is: she has something to say, and say it she does it. Amanda Lasker-Berlin is a name to remember.« MDR, reviewing ›Elijah’s Song‹
The skin of ten-year-old Spes is as sensitive as a butterfly’s wing. When will she throw off her gauze cocoon and finally be able to fly?
Mirjam travels to a country in upheaval. How do you tell a story when everything is in ruins?
Paul is on the run from his photo, plastered on front pages. It's only an accusation, but what is the truth?
Achura fears a catastrophe, the end of her political career. But would she take back what she said?
Spes, Mirjam, Paul and Achura are each at a turning point. How do you reinvent yourself without losing yourself? Can enough strength be found for a utopia, for a new beginning? Amanda Lasker-Berlin tells the story of four characters, trying to break free from classifications and overcome a crisis. Rapidly intercut perspectives, colliding points of view and voices form together an energy that gathers its power with each page. »Spes Means Hope« is a novel that is bursting with our present moment, and one that widens our view of what is important.
Amanda Lasker-Berlin, born in Essen in 1994, studied fine arts at the Bauhaus University in Weimar and studied stage direction at the Akademie für Darstellende Kunst Baden-Württemberg in Ludwigsburg, where she lead a production of Herta Müller’s »Atemschaukel« Her drama ICH, WUNDERWERK AND HOW MUCH I LOVE DISTURBING CONTENT premiered in 2021 as part of the Autor:innentheatertage at the Deutsches Theater in Berlin and was awarded the Hermann Sudermann Prize. Her first novel »Elijas Lied« (FVA, 2020) was awarded the debut prize at lit.COLOGNE, followed by the novel »Iva Breathes« at FVA in 2021. She lives in Frankfurt am Main.
Rights sold to: Turkey (Ilksatır Publishing)
›US Jury Pick‹ of New Books In German
Gutekunst Prize Of The Friends Of Goethe
Three Women. Three Political Upheavals. Three Fates – a stirring family novel full of emotional warmth, empathy and a zest for storytelling
Cigarettes, cognac and books – the last few years in her Parisian apartment, centenarian Lucile prefers to spend her time reading in bed. Shortly after Lucile's death, her daughter Marie also dies. What remains is the apartment on the Avenue de Flandre and the memories of two independent women, scarred by life. Lisa, Marie's daughter, who lives in Berlin, wants to make a clean break and sell the apartment. The relationship between her mother and grandmother was explosive – Lucile, a Pied-Noir from Tunisia, had to return to France with her two daughters after independence. She was a strong, but self-absorbed woman – something Lisa knew from her own experience, but above all from her mother. Marie had never recovered from the loss of her homeland. Her painful return to France, her first dramatic love in Paris in May 1968, her flight from Lucille's attacks to Berlin – she told Lisa everything. But, can Lisa really believe her mother's stories? While the protests of the Nuit Debout Movement rage in the streets in 2016, Lisa vacates her Paris apartment and tries to trace the relationship between her mother and grandmother. But the deeper she goes, the greater her doubts that there is any truth to her family.
Elsa Koester portrays three women of strong character whose fates are marked by social upheaval and crisis. The incredible lightness with which she interweaves the perspectives of three generations, the individuality of the characters and the author's socially perceptive view make this novel an unforgettable reading experience.
»An absorbing family saga that readers will be unable to put down. Couscous with Cinnamon explores the fascinating lives of its strong female characters, as well as the emotional connections that bond the family together. ›Couscous with Cinnamon‹ combines sharp insights into different European cultures and histories with distinctive and appealing characters whose stories are intertwined in a moving and mesmerising read.« New Books In German, US Jury Pick
Elsa Koester was born in 1984 in Berlin, the daughter of a French Pied-Noir with Tunisian colonial history and a North German Frisian with US-American emigration history. She studied literature, political science, and sociology. She lives in Berlin as a political journalist. newly reignited debate about identity and homeland inspired her novel debut Couscous with Cinnamon, which draws on her experience as a journalist and activist with a diverse cultural background.
Awarded the Swiss Literature Prize 2020!
»Time is a great healer. But I knew: That’s a lie. Time doesn’t heal anything. Going by. That’s all she’s capable of. And she’s not even very good at that.«
Except for the high bridge, there is nothing special about the little town Alba lives in. The bridge is 25 meters high, on a windless day the fall lasts 2,08 seconds and statistically the street underneath is the most dangerous in all of Switzerland: The school-year is far from over and her class is already down by three students. Meanwhile in Zurich, students are protesting, they are fighting for cultural freedom, against housing shortage and drugs on the streets. »Deflate the state!«, that’s their war-cry. The world seems to be upside down and Alba is caught right in the midst of it all while dealing with her very own problems. One of them: Jack. Shortly after Alba’s ›accident‹, the two of them become a couple. For the moment, Alba is happy, but no one knows better than Alba that there must be a snag – especially when it comes to happiness.
Demian Lienhard’s story of the highs and lows in his protagonist’s life is strikingly original, full of intelligent humor and subtle tragedy. The reader follows his refreshingly rebellious and likeable narrator through the blistering 1980’s and 1990’s which were informed by growing social problems and an insurgent youth movement. The narrative voice itself is the glowing core of this novel, a sparkling mix of »Smells Like Teen Spirit«, »La Boum« and an irresistible warmth, black humor and wittiness – you’ll be ready to follow her wherever she goes, even if it’s a trip to hell.
Demian Lienhard was born in 1987 in Baden/Switzerland. He has completed his Ph.D in classical archaeology and works as a research fellow at the Goethe University in Frankfurt on the Main. He has received numerous stipends and has won awards and competitions with his unpublished works. In 2016, he participated in the »24. open mike« in Berlin and in 2018, he ranked second in the »Prenzlauer Berg writing contest«. »I am the girl my mother warned me about« is his début novel.
December 1946: Bärel is the first Jewish child born in the Catholic hospital since the end of the war. His parents, Klara and Leon Bromberger, decide not to look back anymore and to only care for the future. But a fateful encounter throws Klara back into the past. She starts to write her memories down ...
»This one makes the impression he has seen the world before«, comments the doctor on the newborn, the hospital’s first Jewish child since the end of the war. The nuns, who were still in need of someone to be the Saviour in the nativity play, sneak him into the crip: »Jesus was also born as a Jew«.
Ice flowers were the only flowers Klara and Leon Bromberger had at their wedding in January 1946. It was a celebration without family since Klara and Leon are the only survivors. A golden watch is the last remaining souvenir. Less than a year later, expecting the birth of their son Bärel, they both want to move on and to look forward. But during a walk in a park, Klara is suddenly struck: The short and obviously pregnant woman is Liliput, her former camp commander! Klara can no longer speak or eat. She even stops looking after Bärel. Her husband is desperate. He sees only one way out for Klara: »Start writing, Klara, get it out there. Avert the evil on paper! Chain it with your words!«
Klara dares to look back into the abyss and writes herself back to life. She describes: Her father's elegant shoe shop, the ghetto Zamość and the hasty farewell, the escape, the strangely flashing eyes of old Piasecki, her work in the casino in Lublin – the cave of the lion. Klara writes about the camp, the hunger, the freezing cold, about Martha's bell-bright, unforgettable Hail Mary – and about the delicate, ice-cold commander with the child's voice, they called Liliput.
Minka Pradelski was born in 1947 in the DP camp Zeilsheim (Germany) as a child of Holocaust survivors. After her internationally successful novel »Here Comes Mrs. Kugelman« (FVA 2005) her new book is about a chapter of German history whose contemporary witnesses are dwindling. Pradelski impressively combines the voices of her three protagonists into a moving narrative: Klara's deeply tragic and touching story, Bromberger's rough, loving temperament and baby Bärels' cheeky viewpoint complement each other. Pradelski addresses the in-between her characters find themselves in during the post-war period, as close to death as they are to life. Surrounded by their memories which might light up any second, they struggle for a future.
Minka Pradelski is a German sociologist and documentary filmmaker. She worked as an assistant with Clemens de Boor at the Sigmund Freud Institute on the project »The aftermath of massive traumatization among Jewish survivors of the Nazi era« and as an honorary member of the USC Shoah Foundation. Pradelski lives in Frankfurt am Main.
Awarded the Robert Gernhardt Prize and the Licher Literature Prize
In ›Old Girls‹, Julia Wolf lets three generations of women have their say – and sketches a panorama of female life in the Federal Republic that hasn’t been seen before in contemporary German literature.
»Julia Wolf’s ›Old Girls‹ resists easy categorisation and refuses to jump on any contemporary literary bandwagons. Its mixture of different literary modes is accessible, inventive and often amusing. Wolf has a knack for hitting all the right generational notes while developing distinct characters and friendships.« New Books in German
»›Old Girls‹ has everything you could want from a contemporary German-language novel: The failure of a petty-bourgeois family, silence, and the experiences of powerlessness in German post-war history, all told as a kaleidoscopic exploration of female subjectivity. Julia Wolf writes a history of consciousness, creating a picture of the postwar milieu that has not been seen before.« Laudatio for the Robert Gernhardt Prize
It's always the daughters who ask! The three ›girls from East Prussia‹, Anni, Else and Hannelore, are asked to model for a photography campaign for their senior citizens’ residence. While Germany's Next Topmodel plays on television, these three women in their mid-nineties negotiate what they want to say about their lives – and what not.
In the car on the way to Poland, Gudrun sends a voice message. She wants her niece to know about her grandmother’s death. But she digresses, talks about her escape at the end of the war, her childhood in the 1950s. Suddenly it becomes clear: she has something she wants to confess.
Undine, Jenny and Thao spend a weekend in Berlin before Jenny has her first child. Along with memories of their childhood and youth in the 1980s and 1990s, social differences come to light again. As they reevaluate their life choices, the contractions begin.
Written in three parts – »Marjellchen,« »New Home, Old House« and »MILF« – Julia Wolf portrays three generations of women, tracing the wounds, values, and experiences of wartime. With this novel, she contributes an important narrative of female subjectivity to German post-war history, opening our eyes to where we come from, where we are going, what we should take with us, and what we should let go.
Julia Wolf is an author and translator. Her debut »Alles ist Jetzt« (FVA 2015) was followed by the novel »Walter Nowak bleibt liegen« (FVA 2017), which won the 3sat Prize and the Nicolas Born Debut Prize, and was nominated for the German Book Prize 2017. She received the Robert Gernhardt Prize and the Licher Literature Prize for »Old Girls«. As part of the author collective »Writing with CARE/RAGE,« Julia Wolf has worked on the topic of care work and artistic production. She lives with her family in Leipzig.
Sold to: The Netherlands (Nieuw Amsterdam)
Film rights sold to: epo-film
»Don’t you remember that words can be sharp like knives?«
Maximilian Wenger used to be a big shot. He was a best-selling author and a man of action. Now, he’s standing at the edge of ruin: nobody wants to read his novels, and his wife has traded him in for a fitness instructor. In a small apartment near Salzburg, he hides himself away from the world. Wenger’s eighteen-year-old daughter, Zoe, plans a future according to her own beliefs. She soon realizes, however, that she has reached her own limits – and that becoming an adult is painful. Then, Wegner starts to receive those letters. Though they are addressed to the previous tenant, he opens them and is thrilled: they are brutal and delicate, shocking and inspiring. Who is this mysterious woman that tells of fleeting happiness, injury, and dashed hope? What Wenger doesn’t know, is that Zoey is also reading the letters. She has experienced something that she finds reflected in those furious words. Both father and daughter are being lead toward a crossroads at which something old ends and something new begins.
With intelligence, adroit humor, and great empathy, Mareike Fallwickl writes about the ups and downs of love, friendship, and family; illusory worlds, both digital and analog; abuse of power, and female self-empowerment, unleashing a maelstrom that thrills until the very end.
A mesmerizing book about how relationships succeed and fail, about power and how it is abused, and about men and women and all that passes between them.
»This is a book as relevant as can be. This is a book that will and must be spoken about.
Mareike Fallwickl dissects humanity, love, and life itself with her razor-sharp words, fascinating deeply in the process.« Florian Valerius, bookseller and bookstagrammer @literarischernerd
Mareike Fallwickl was born in Hallein bei Salzburg in 1983. She currently lives in the Salzburg region where she works as a freelance writer, pens a weekly column for a Salzburg newspaper, and, since 2009, runs her own literature blog. Her debut novel »Dark Green Almost Black«, published by FVA in 2018, was celebrated by readers and nominated for both the Austrian Book Prize and the »Favorite Book of Independent Booksellers« Award.
»Borders, transculturalism, finding identity in the interplay between two cultures: the accuracy and power and defiant audacity of the portrayal in this text completely won us over.« Jury of the Bremen Literature Office in the artist’s house Worpswede
»Don’t touch the interesting ones, marry someone who knows how to cook.« Like all women in the Atanassov family, Grandma Denka is as happy to share her life’s wisdom as her granddaughter, our narrator, is to throw it to the wind. She left Bulgaria shortly before the fall of the Berlin wall, and now lives with her husband and daughter in an apartment building in Bremen where hair curlers and soap suds rule. She feels alienated and misunderstood, even in her own marriage. When her father dies, she travels back to her hometown on the Black Sea. There, in her grandmother, mother, and mother-in-law, she encounters strong, dominant women who have always held the strings, and for the first time she investigates the blind spots that reach far back into the country’s communist past. She comes to an understanding of how deeply she is woven into this colorful family web and recognizes which connections provide support and which threads need to be undone.
Antonia Bontscheva describes a generation of self-confident women, the history of individual fates in communist Bulgaria through the transition period, and the realities of migration and self-assertion. With passionate, sensual language, warm and humor, the author’s human-centered gaze make this captivating novel shine.
»The sun poured its gold onto the water. A still-summery, lush, lavish gold upon a green and inviting water. Yet a thin, gauzy ache lay over it all. The beauty of Balchik is not a serene one. The beauty of Balchik is wise and somehow dramatic. It’s beauty breaks your heart.«
Antonia Boncheva was born in Varna, Bulgaria and lives today with her family in Bremen. She studied German language and literature in Berlin, worked as a German teacher and as a journalist, including on a literary radio column for »Funkhaus Europa.« The Beauty of Balchik is not Serene is her debut novel, for which she received the Bremen Author’s Scholarship from the Senator for Culture and a grant from the Bremen Literature Office in the artist’s house Worpswede.