Nobody is safe from those crucial moments that change everything.
by Matthias Jügler
Penguin Germany, March 2021
Johannes looks back on his childhood in East Germany, and the cracks that ran through it: his mother’s early death, his father’s mysterious disappearance. All his questions remained unanswered, and he now treads carefully on his path through life. When Johannes finds a letter in an old chest – addressed to his father and sent only a few days before he left his son without a word – the discovery transforms not only his future, but also his past as a child in the GDR before the Wall came down. With penetrating vigour and forceful clarity, Matthias Jügler tells a story of loss and betrayal, of the value of memory and the urgent questions that are troubling a whole generation. A warm-hearted, radiant novel written with extraordinary linguistic intensity.
Matthias Jügler, born in 1984, did a degree in Slavonic and history of art in Greifswald and Oslo and studied creative writing at the Institute of Literature in Leipzig. His 2015 debut novel Raubfischen was awarded numerous prizes. Jügler has been a writer-in-residence in Pfaffenhofen, won a scholarship from the Literarisches Colloquium Berlin, and was a writer-in-residence at the Goethe Institute in Uzbekistan. He lives in Leipzig with his wife and children, and is a freelance editor.