My great-grandmother peered at me over the rims of her spectacles with a severe expression and said »Sink or swim – it’s your call.« Elke Heidenreich’s affection is reserved for the queer fish, the ones who neither want to sink nor swim.The non-conformists and eccentrics like herself – and many of the others she tells us about.
We’d all like to be happy, preferably forever. But what is this thing called happiness? And has anyone ever been permanently happy? What is life really about – this sequence of disparate moments that sometimes appear as though thrown together without rhyme or reason by an impetuous God on the roll of a dice? Elke Heidenreich tells us about her own life; she tells of love and strife, encounters and leave-takings, mothers and children, animals and books – in short, the stuff of life, its very essence. In a series of tableaus both sad and funny, she delineates life’s implausibilities, the far-fetched and unforgettable si-tuations we all know so well — which, as we read on, coalesce into a single novel, the novel of each unique and unrepeatable life. If we only look closely enough, it becomes patently clear that a human life with all its lucky breaks and pitfalls is anything but coincidence.