Stephan Wackwitz

An invisible country

Stephan Wackwitz
Frankfurt am Main: S. Fischer, 2003
285 S.
ISBN 3-10-091055-9
Paperback Edition: Fischer Taschenbuch Verlag, 2005

A German story of an unexpected reunion: an old-fashioned camera is returned to its original owner in a roundabout and mysterious way at the beginning of the nineteen nineties. It belongs to the eighty year-old father of the narrator who in 1939, at the age of seventeen, has to hand it over to a British navy officer while at sea between Angola and Argentina before being taken a prisoner of war. The family of the German-national pastor and veteran of the First World War, Andreas Wackwitz, emigrates from the area around Auschwitz, the Galician border between Poland, Austria-Hungary and Upper Silesia to Africa and are subsequently prevented from returning by the outbreak of the Second World War. The eldest son spends seven years felling trees in a Canadian camp. His forgotten camera makes its way to a depot in London, later to Berlin, travelling half a century through time. Which photos will be found on the sixty year-old film? In this novel Stephan Wackwitz, grandson of the emigrant, tells the story of three generations.

    Stephan Wackwitz: An invisible country

    Marta Kijowska follows with interest the way the author has depicted his family history from the views of grandfather, father and son. According to the reviewer Stephan Wackwitz is not only using the term "family novel" in its literary sense, but also in a psychoanalytical sense when he refers to an essay by Freud.More ...