How You Take It

Norbert Niemann

Peter Schönlein is a lucky man, both privately and professionally. Marriage, family, the workplace, the daily round, every area of the restorer's life has a movie-like sheen, burnished with intensity, sensuality and happiness. But then his wife, Christa, leaves the family for a few days to attend a seminar, Peter meets a younger woman, and the gleaming picture begins to flicker. Why does he embark on an affair with Lisa whom he finds, let's not mince words, frankly repulsive? Where is the hidden flaw in his immaculate shooting script?

Norbert Niemann tells of the lives of five people in the 1990s. They are not big city dwellers, fashion-inflamed representatives of the "Me Generation", but inhabitants of the complacent provinces. And whatever is stirred up there has ramifications for the community. Niemann's five characters find themselves swept into a world whose images, patterns and implications threaten to overturn the purpose of their lives. Caught up in a flood of second-hand emotions, it becomes almost impossible for them to rediscover their true feelings.

Norbert Niemann has achieved something altogether unexpected: a large-scale social novel of the Nineties that asks how one can find the space to live an individual and meaningful life in an environment deprived of bearings and values.

For Wie man's nimmt, Norbert Niemann was awarded the prestigious Ingeborg-Bachmann-Preis.

How You Take It

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