Olivia Wenzel’s 1000 COILS OF FEAR out in Denmark

We are happy about the warm welcome for Olivia Wenzel’s debut novel 1000 COILS OF FEAR (S. Fischer) in Denmark at Forlag Turbine. The novel was nominated for the German Book Award 2020 and the aspekte Prize for Best Literary Debut. Rights sold to UK (Little Brown) | US (Catapult) | Netherlands (Bezige Bij) | Denmark (Turbine) | Norway (Solum)

»German star debuts with radical contemporary novel. Perhaps it is not possible to write „a coherent novel about being human today.“ German Olivia Wenzel certainly jumps and leaps back and forth in time with „lots of repetition, self-reference, banality and wild flights of thought“ in this alternately infuriating and rebellious novel „about contemporary problems of racism, environmental destruction and psychological pressure.« Christian Johannes Idskov, Politiken

»Compelling debut novel explores the life of a young woman of colour in a country of white tradition. The novel’s dialogic form forms a powerful discussion of the structures that perpetuate racism and keep people in fixed roles.« – Britta Riis Langdahl, litteratursiden.dk

»This German novel is both contemporary and moving. Olivia Wenzel’s „1000 COILS OF FEAR“ is a gifted and in places moving portrayal of a family history in the GDR and a woman’s life in contemporary Berlin.« – Jeppe Krogsgaard Christensen, Kristelig Dagblad

about the novel:

A young woman attends a play about the fall of the Berlin Wall – and realizes she is the only Black person in the audience. She and her boyfriend are hanging out by a lake outside Berlin – and four neo-Nazis show up.

In New York, she is having sex with a stranger on the night of the 2016 presidential election – and wakes up to panicked texts from her friends in Germany about Donald Trump’s unlikely victory.

Engaging in a witty Q&A with herself – or is it her alter ego? – she takes stock of our rapidly changing times, sometimes angry, sometimes amused, sometimes afraid, and always passionate. And she tells the story of her family: her mother, a punk in former East Germany who never had the freedom she dreamed of. Her Angolan father, who returned to his home country before she was born to start a second family. Her grandmother, whose life of obedience to party principles brought her prosperity and security but not happiness. And her twin brother, who took his own life at the age of nineteen.

Heart-rending, opinionated, and wry, Olivia Wenzel’s remarkable debut novel is a clear-sighted and polyphonic investigation into where we’re from and where we’re going, what it really means to be the odd one out, what it really means to belong and what price wanting to belong can exact.