Monika Helfer turns her life experiences into literature and her trilogy has seen a breath-taking success in Germany as well as abroad. After DIE BAGAGE (2020) and VATI (2021): LIONHEART (2022) is Helfer’s latest novel about a family from the Austrian Vorarlberg and an intimate portrait, a story about care, guilt and family ties. Now sold to Denmark (Palomar) and Sweden (Lindelöws) as well as to Spain (Edhasa) and the Netherlands (Nieuw Amsterdam).
Since the death of their mother, Monika and her sisters have been separated from their little brother Richard. They only rarely see each other, and are losing their bond. It is the late 1970s, and the Baader-Meinhof gang is turning Germany upside down. Richard is already a young man, a typesetter by trade – “the avant garde of the working class”. He is an oddball and seems not to value life very much. He will only take on any responsibility when it is thrust upon him – including when, in a highly strange move, an old lover leaves him with a child he only knows by its nickname: Putzi. As the political situation in the country grows increasingly tense, the months he spends with the girl change Richard. Unintentionally becoming a father gives him some new footing, at least for a while. Monika Helfer turns her life experience into great literature; through her novels about her family, she has become the chronicler of an entire century.