Author Katja Oskamp and translator Jo Heinrich in conversation with Sarah Hemens, director of New Books in German
Based on Oskamp’s own experiences, Marzahn, Mon Amour
follows a writer approaching the ‘invisible years’ of middle age who abandons her failing career to retrain as a chiropodist in the East Berlin suburb of Marzahn, once the GDR’s largest prefabricated housing estate.
From her intimate vantage point at the foot of the clinic chair, the narrator observes her clients and co-workers, listening to their stories with empathy and curiosity. What follows is a personal history of this less-often-explored corner of Berlin, both before and after the fall of the Wall, told through the lives of its elderly residents, and a portrait of the present-day community painted with the perfect blend of humour and poignancy.
At the centre of it all is the chiropodist, questioning what it means to start again in middle age, reflecting on life’s progression and our ability to forge connections in the unlikeliest of places.
There will be readings in both English and German, and an audience Q&A, followed by refreshments.
Participation is free for language students and library members of Goethe-Institut London, and for Peirene Press subscribers. Please book tickets via Eventbrite.
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