The Eighth Child
- date of publication: 25.07.2022
- 256 Pages
- ISBN 978-3-446-27287-3
- Deutschland: 12,00 €
- Österreich: 12,40 €
- E-Book ISBN 978-3-446-27020-6
- E-Book Deutschland: 8,99 €
“A very special coming-of-age novel” Maxim Biller
Your father is a good-for-nothing, your foster father, a Nazi and your stepfather, a brutal drunkard: The Eighth Child catapults us into a life too drastic to be imagined.
Smilja, a guestworker, toils in a chocolate factory while her husband Emir, a party-loving petty criminal, eventually ends up behind bars in the notorious island prison of Goli Otok in Yugoslavia. After the birth of her son Alem, Smilja makes a far-reaching decision: she wants her baby to be raised by a strict German foster family with seven children of their own. But the boy spends every other weekend with his mother and her new violent boyfriend in the red-light district surrounding Frankfurt’s main station. Only as an adult does Alem find out that his mother lied about his biological father's death and sets out to retrace his footsteps.
Alem Grabovac tells the harrowing story of a harsh upbringing in raw detail and without judgement.
“Not an autobiography, but a real novel that draws its tension from the difference in genres.”
- Fritz Göttler, Süddeutsche Zeitung online
“One rather suspects that Alem Grabovac also has the advantages of being a wanderer between worlds. In any case, he can change perspectives like no other. The great thing about the book is that he does not judge, he does not accuse. His laconic style has power. It expresses an attitude, perhaps not so much in terms of language, but rather towards life. Judging, which always has something paternalistic about it, is not his style.”
- Susanne Lenz, Berliner Zeitung
“Grabovac’s narrative voice is that of a non-judgemental chronicler of his own life. It is free from polemics, condemnation and political accusation. Readers are left to decide for themselves what they think from the report-like material spread out before them. (...) The Eighth Child is an important, exciting book.”
- Ursula März, Deutschlandfunk Kultur
“Nowadays, there is such a thing as a West German childhood far removed from the ideal, coddled ones portrayed by Florian Illies or David Wagner. Many childhoods were disrupted, and people had to straddle different worlds. German-language literature is now benefitting from a generation of authors that is pointing this out.”
- Gerrit Bartels, Der Tagesspiegel