- date of publication: 17.08.2020
- 288 Pages
- Hanser Verlag
- ISBN 978-3-446-26760-2
- Deutschland: 22,00 €
- Österreich: 22,70 €
- E-Book ISBN 978-3-446-26856-2
- E-Book Deutschland: 11,99 €
A novel filled with tenderness and anger at a world torn in two
The village is in northern Syria, near the border to Turkey. Leyla spends every summer there. She knows its smells and tastes. She knows its stories. She knows where the villagers’ suitcases are hidden in case they have to escape again. Urgently and poignantly, as if her eyes were wide open, Ronya Othmann’s debut novel tells the story of living in the face of annihilation. Only to defy it.
Leyla’s parents are German and Yazidi. She spends lesson time sitting in her secondary school in Munich, and the summer holidays sitting on the earthy floor of her grandparents’ house in a Yazidi village. Leyla is familiar with the outline of Kurdistan, and the shape of the female student she loves. She clicks through pictures of war-torn Aleppo the assassination of the Yazidi by ISIS, and alongside these, carefree photos of her German friends’ everyday lives. Leyla will soon have to make a decision.
“Ronya Othmann not only succeeds in depicting this old woman so clearly but also all those involved. She does this in just a few sentences, creating such an intimacy that you never have the impression she is lecturing you on the refugees and migration. Instead, the richness of her storytelling in key scenes and elements of perception suddenly reveals new, deeper insights. Ronya Othmann has written a novel that should do much to ensure that this knowledge is no longer lost.”
- Kristina Maidt-Zinke, Süddeutsche Zeitung
“Her political voice is clear and decisive. Her literary voice is controlled, straightforward and simple. “
- Elke Schmitter, Der Spiegel
“Othmann creates an insight into a world that we think we know at first glance. Her novel deals with the theme of identity without the usual kitsch that is so often used to write about origins."
- Doris Akrap, taz
“The Summers is a stunning debut novel, told concretely and vividly, with strong characters and dialogues that are integrated into the novel in a way that the tone remains lively even when it is conveying events seen through the characters’ experiences. Ronya Othmann has a wide range of expression. She belongs to a generation that switches easily between theory, politics, poetry and prose; she can be both aggressive and adaptable. There are many topics on her agenda. A debut writer of which we can expect a great deal.
- Meike Feßmann, Deutschlandfunk Kultur Lesart
English (Wisconsin University Press), Mongolia (Monsudar), the Netherlands (Standaard Uitgeverij), Indonesia (Yayasan Pustaka Obor)