Sold to Sweden: Stories of a Chiropodist by Katja Oskamp

One can only absolutely adore this book! Now, Rámus Förlag in Sweden acquired rights to Katja Oskamp’s MARZAHN, MON AMOUR. STORIES OF A CHIROPODIST (Hanser Berlin 2019)!!

  • a huge hit in Germany and a SPIEGEL bestseller for months and months
  • rights sold to UK (Peirene Press Ltd.), France (Editions Zulma), Spain (Hoja de Lata), NEW Sweden (Rámus)

Katja Oskamp is in her mid-forties when her life grows dull. Her child has left home, her husband is ill, and her writing, which was her all up till then, is only a source of disappointment. She does something that would amount to failure for others: she becomes a chiropodist. And starts to record what she hears in stories full of humanity and wit.

Berlin-Marzahn was once the largest prefabricated housing estate in the GDR. Here lives Mr. Paulke, one of the first residents forty years ago; Mrs. Guse, who is slowly retreating backwards from the world; and Mr. Pietsch, the former bureaucrat with his checked flat cap. They are all heading towards old age and need patching up – and their regular appointments to have nails cut and corns removed are, above all, an opportunity to talk. Katja Oskamp listens and creates miraculous stories about people, seen from the perspective of their feet. These are the kind of stories you don’t hear when people talk about each other in this country. Yet they happen everywhere.

»It is as amusing as it is touching to read how she tells the stories of these people. […] A book that makes you want to live!« Christine Westermann, Literarisches Quartett

»’Marzahn, mon amour‘ is a social novel of the invisible, which Katja Oskamp makes visible through her affection for them.« Volker Weidermann, Literarisches Quartett

»With warmth, but also with tomboyish wit, she unfolds a hidden object picture in the Plattenbau. … Thus one gains insights into a Berlin district that is either overlooked or grows into the dystopian with the descent fantasies of the creative industries.« Die Zeit

»This is funny, also sad, melancholic throughout. And touching in the literal sense.“ Der Standard

»A small form, a narrow book, but a great narrative from the lowlands of urban life today. … In doing so, Katja Oskamp gets very close to the life stories of her everyday heroes with empathy and sensitivity about feet.« Deutschlandfunk

»Realistic social romanticism, solidary and precise in sound like the language in the soccer stadiums, in the sports forum of Hohenschönhausen or at the Alte Försterei in Köpenick.« Die Welt

»Katja Oskamp’s book is an impressive account of the urban microcosm of Marzahn, in which preconceptions about this neighborhood of Berlin are both confirmed and thrown overboard.« Der Freitag

»The stories are sometimes told on the street. Katja Oskamp has bent over backwards, made a convincing piece of literature out of the found objects. … Composed to a book results in something own and special with great suction. This is not autofiction, this is life.« Frankfurter Rundschau

»One reads this and is delighted by the robust poetry with which Katja Oskamp describes this world of the old and the remaining, who are often also witty and life-smart people and cultivate a defiant pride in their homeland. She writes of the nobility of the people, and her stories are true, also because they are funny and beautiful.« Süddeutsche Zeitung