SHORTLISTED for the German Book Award 2023: MAMAN by Sylvie Schenk

We are absolutely thrilled that Sylvie Schenk’s MAMAN (Hanser) made it onto the shortlist for the German Book Award 2023!

Sylvie Schenk’s book Maman paints a loving portrait of her own mother, which develops into a painful reckoning. Schenk’s mother was born in Lyon in 1916, and her grandmother died during her mother’s birth. Allegedly she was a silk worker, like her great-grandmother. But was this true? And what family history will be passed on to the next generation? As a child, Sylvie Schenk suffered from this lack of clarity, which still affects her today – a writer tormented by restlessness. With lyrical precision, she retraces the questions that her family history has left open. MAMAN is both a daring endeavour and a highly explosive work of literature.

„Incredibly gripping, highly literary, and very reflective, the novel offers many possible interpretations of why a life can go awry. And how painful it is to have a mother who cannot love.“
Elke Heidenreich, SPIEGEL Bestseller

„Fragmentary as her own memory, skeptical of her resentment, doubtful of her role in the family drama and at the writing desk, precise, clever and full of wit, tough yet tender.“
Daniela Strigl, FAZ

„The way the tiny details are interwoven here with imagination and research as Sylvie Schenk tries to capture the fleeting shadow of her grandmother and silent mother is as loving as it is unsparing. The language is poetic, the scenes thrown in as if off the cuff.“
Uschi Loigge, Kleine Zeitung

“From the silence resulting from suffering emerged a writer for whom expression has become a profession, who is able to transform her mother’s life into literature. ‚Maman‘ is not simply a book about a mother, but a book about life itself.“
Jörg Magenau, SWR2, worth reading review

„‚Maman‘ is a gripping, smart book that sharply articulates the era of the 1940s to 1960s as well as the psyche of its subject. Sylvie Schenk, who turns 80 next year, is still underestimated. ‚Maman‘ is a chance to change that.“
Christoph Schröder, Süddeutsche am Wochenende

„‚Maman‘ is a book that captivates with its vehemence and analytical incisiveness, with wistfulness and tremendous scenic precision: a great portrait of a time period, great poetry.“
Hansruedi Kugler, CHMedia Network

“’Maman’ is a great work of reconciliation, which teaches us as daughters to look more lovingly at the generations of women who came before us.”
Mareike Ilsemann, WDR 5, Books

„Sylvie Schenk’s style is captivating and very personal, you are drawn into this story. And the book’s originality lies in the fact that it doesn’t have a happy ending, the relationship between Schenk and her maman remains open – and its openness captures quite a panorama.”
Dirk Fuhrig, DLF, Book Review

‘She deals lightly with many heavy topics in a dense space. Sylvie Schenk is incredibly smart and funny.’
Daniela Strigl, SWR-Bestenliste

Rights to the cover photo are with (c) Carl Hanser Verlag.