You will find it on the longlist to the German Book Award, among the winners of the prestigious Jürgen Ponto Prize for Best Debut Novel, and soon on Danish bookshelves. Bonnier’s alpha Forlag in Denmark, the publisher of Katie Kitamura and Valérie Perrin in Denmark, just pre-empted the Danish rights.
- Longlisted for the German Book Prize 2023
- Winner of the Literary Prize of the Jürgen Ponto Foundation 2023
- Selected by New Books in German and recommended for translation funding
- a shift in generational storytelling about recent German history – and a remarkable debut
- rights sold to Denmark (alpha)
The year is 1976 in the GDR. Karin, 16, lives in Dresden’s working-class suburb of Gittersee, where she looks after her toddler sister and helps her obstinate grandmother around the house, who is still lamenting the end of her time in the Wehrmacht. Karin’s father is struggling to keep his Skoda and family life running, while her mother wishes she had a different existence altogether. Karin’s only confidante is her friend Marie, a girl with big dreams: she wants to be the first woman on the moon. Karin is also head over heels in love with her boyfriend Paul, who aspires to be an artist but works in the mines. When Paul takes off on a weekend outing and doesn’t come back, two policemen turn up at Karin’s door asking his whereabouts. Her world is turned upside down and in her confusion, she seeks support from the attractive policeman Wickwalz. He in turn persuades her to inform on her family and friends as an unofficial collaborator. When she realises she’s been betrayed by Wickwalz, she takes drastic measures to break free again.
In her searing debut novel, Charlotte Gneuss tells us stories from a country that no longer exists and asks whether innocence in a totalitarian state is possible.
“Does that sound familiar? Your heart is burning, but you’re pretending it never burned? Charlotte Gneuss’s heart is a lonely hunter.” Monika Helfer
„Definitely a must read. One of my favorite discoveries. A really, really great book that is remotely reminiscent of Daniela Krien’s first book (Someday We’ll Tell Each Other Everything) – which is why I liked it so much.“ Bookseller Thalia, Rostock