Peirene No. 37

Marzahn, Mon Amour

Katja Oskamp

£12.00

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  • Description

    Available for preorder now, for delivery upon publication (February 17th 2022)

    A woman approaching the ‘invisible years’ of middle age abandons her failing writing career to retrain as a chiropodist in the East Berlin suburb of Marzahn, once the GDR’s largest prefabricated housing estate.

    From her intimate vantage point at the foot of the clinic chair, she observes her clients and co-workers, listening to their stories with empathy and curiosity.

    Part memoir, part collective history, Katja Oskamp’s love letter to the inhabitants of Marzahn is a tender reflection on life’s progression and our ability to forge connections in the unlikeliest of places. Each person’s story stands alone as a beautifully crafted vignette, but together they form a portrait of a community.

    Translated from the German by Jo Heinrich.

    “A real gem … full of tough wit and resilience.” – Catherine Taylor, The Irish Times

    “It’s rare to come across a book of such captivating warmth and humour. There is something magical at play in Marzahn, Mon Amour. I loved every page of it.”– Rónán Hession, author of Leonard and Hungry Paul and Panenka

    “Katja Oskamp knows how to capture the essence of people beautifully. They really come to life in her portraits. A powerful book.” – Frank-Walter Steinmeier, President of Germany

    “Oskamp is a curious observer and gleans intimate insights into the lives of the many who carried on as best they could when things got tough… Marzahn, Mon Amour captures a piece of modern history and brings it right down to the human level.” – Catherine Venner, World Literature Today

     

    144pp, paperback with flaps, £12
    ISBN 978-1-908670-69-4

    Publication date: 17 February 2022

     

  • Author

    Katja Oskamp was born in 1970 in Leipzig and grew up in Berlin. After completing her degree in theatre studies, she worked as a playwright at the Volkstheater Rostock and went on to study at the German Literature Institute in Leipzig. Her debut collection of stories Halbschwimmer was published in 2003. In 2007 she published her first novel Die Staubfängerin. Her book Marzahn, Mon Amour, published by Hanser with the subtitle ‘Stories of a Chiropodist’, was selected for the ‘Berlin Reads One Book’ campaign and thus literally became the talk of the town. She is a member of PEN Centre Germany. Marzahn, Mon Amour is her first work to be translated into English.

  • Translator

    Like the narrator in Marzahn, Mon Amour, Jo Heinrich found her ideal career in her middle years, and graduated in 2018 with a distinction in her MA in Translation from the University of Bristol. She was shortlisted for the 2020 Austrian Cultural Forum London Translation Prize and the 2019 John Dryden Translation Competition. She translates from French and German, and she lives just outside Bristol with her family. Marzahn, Mon Amour is her first literary translation.

  • Press

    “A real gem … full of tough wit and resilience.” – Catherine Taylor, The Irish Times

    “It’s rare to come across a book of such captivating warmth and humour. There is something magical at play in Marzahn, Mon Amour. I loved every page of it.”- Rónán Hession, author of Leonard and Hungry Paul and Panenka

    “Katja Oskamp knows how to capture the essence of people beautifully. They really come to life in her portraits. A powerful book.” – Frank-Walter Steinmeier, President of Germany

    “Oskamp is a curious observer and gleans intimate insights into the lives of the many who carried on as best they could when things got tough… Marzahn, Mon Amour captures a piece of modern history and brings it right down to the human level.” – Catherine Venner, World Literature Today