Reading: Author Ulrike Draesner
We'll lie besides the Oder in summer, Mutti, in the sand we'll bathe, walk over every bridge, promenade along the quay at the university, the city will be destroyed, but its mild light will greet us, it will be in flames, says Else. but will be extinguished, I say lie in ruins, she says better than nothing, I say we will be at home there as once before, I say we'll never be us again, she says but at home, slipping back into our home, I say we will remember, she says it will eat us up, she says it will build us up, I say. Ulrike Draesner tells of women who lose themselves in war. Who can only live by remaining silent. Who invent new biographies for themselves and yet never escape their old ones. A novel that is as stirring as it is moving, about a hundred years of European history and shocks that continue to have an effect on the youngest generation. Ulrike Draesner gives the transformed their voices back. They reinvent themselves, change their language and country, surprise themselves with their courage, their humor, their resilience. The meaning of family changes, free spaces emerge. A shattering novel, moving, stirring, tender, wise. Ulrike Draesner, born in Munich in 1962, has been dealing in her prose works for two decades with the consequences of the violent 20th century that have had an impact across generations. She has received numerous awards for her novels, poems, and essays, most recently the LiteraTour Nord Prize, the Bavarian Book Prize, the German Prize for Nature Writing, and the Grand Prize of the German Literature Fund. Draesner, a professor at the German Literature Institute Leipzig since 2018, lives in Berlin. She is a member of the Berlin Academy of Arts and the German Academy for Language and Poetry.