Thank you for this Life

Thank you for this Life

Sibylle Berg

The book begins in East Germany, in a setting that has never been described with such bleakness, during the almost forgotten cold summer of 1966. In the socialist part of the country, the chill has the people of a small grey town in its grip. »I’ve delivered thousands here, but none of them has ever played up like this«, says the midwife as a child is born. Tough luck. Toto has no obvious gender. He was conceived in a drunken coupling – the father did a runner before he was born and the mother soon after, and the children’s home is organised like a penal camp. But Toto appears inviolate – untroubled by his flagrantly inauspicious start in life. How come people are so bad, he asks himself. How do they manage to make this life even more unbearable than it already is?
Toto will linger in the reader’s mind as a character we’ll want to protect even though we know only too well that things will go from bad to worse. Toto escapes to the West, only to find that what communism left to rot, capitalism is actively destroying. But Toto has a talent – he can sing. And then a ray of hope appears on the horizon when Toto meets Kasimir again, his old mate from the children’s home. Together they set off for Paris. There, Toto will sing.
Unsparing, brutally provocative, and yet with infinite tenderness, Sybille Berg tells the moving story of a character who, through the sheer, unadulterated purity of his spirit, holds up a mirror to the world, showing us just how low we’ve sunk. This is a unique novel by an outstanding author.


Foreign Sales

Denmark (Tiderne Skifter), France (Actes Sud), Israel (Am Oved), Netherlands (Signatuur), Turkey (Can)

Thank you for this Life

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Kommentare

Gundula Pihan
24.08.2012

Mit Bedauern habe ich festgestellt, dass dieser großartige Roman nicht auf der Longlist für den Deutschen Buchpreis 2012 gelandet ist.Wurde er nicht eingereicht oder hat die Jury einfach keinen Geschmack?


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