Next World Novella


Germany’s master of wit and irony now for the first time in English. Independent Foreign Fiction 2012 Longlist. Independent Books of the Year 2012. Guardian Paperback of the Year 2011.

Hinrich takes his existence at face value. His wife, on the other hand, has always been more interested in the afterlife. Or so it seemed. When she dies of a stroke, Hinrich goes through her papers, only to discover a totally different perspective on their marriage. Thus commences a dazzling intellectual game of shifting realities.

This novella deals with the weighty subjects of marriage and death in an impressively light manner. Shifting realities evolve with a beautiful sense of irony and wit. It is a tone that allows us to reflect – without judgment – on misunderstandings, contradictory perceptions and the transience of life.

Translated from the German by Anthea Bell.

144pp, Paperback with Flaps, £10.00
ISBN 978-0-9562840-3-7
Publication date: 18 February 2011

Press & Reviews

'I enjoyed Next World Novella enormously. It was particularly rewarding to be taken down some dark allies but to be lead out into the sun at the end. If that makes Politycki 'populist' and 'old fashioned' I rejoice in both. Reminded me of Dickens.' Tom Alban, BBC Radio 4

'In this elegantly realised novella, Politycki dissects a failed marriage with acute psychological insight and reminds us of how swiftly a breakdown in communication can make our own and others' existence unfathomable.' The Independent on Sunday

'This is a tale of a marriage gone awry and the potential loneliness of cohabitation ... but Matthias Politycki leavens his grim tale with playful teasing of his reader's expectations.' TLS

'Inventive and deeply affecting, this remarkable fiction lingers in the mind long after the last page has been turned.' The Independent

'Politycki’s ambitious novella shows there is still life in this classic genre.' World Literature Today

About The Book


Matthias Politycki, born in 1955, has published over 20 novels and poetry collections. He is ranked among the most successful literary authors writing in German. His books have sold over 200.000 copies and have been translated into several languages, including French and Italian. Jenseitsnovelle was first published in German in 2009.


Anthea Bell is one of the most renowned British translators. She has rendered numerous literary works from French, German, Danish and Polish into English. She is, however, best known for her translations of the French Asterix comics. Anthea received her OBE for services to literature and literary translation in 2010.