Reading Group Online Book Klub: Sasha Marianna Salzmann’s “Beside Myself”

Book Klub: Sasha Marianna Salzmann’s “Beside Myself” © Jasmin Krakenberg

Thu, 06/18/2020


Read. Talk. Share.

Just because we are stuck at home does not mean we can't discuss books. Join our June book club meeting online! Simply send an email to and receive the Zoom access code. Let's keep reading and sharing experiences with the material! ​
The book club is free and open to everyone interested, but participants must purchase the individual texts themselves and are expected to have read the title to be discussed prior to the meeting. 
Still need to get a hold of the book? Support local businesses like our community partner Elliott Bay Book Company. Call Elliott Bay at 206-624-6600 or visit their website to place an order.

Feel free to read this month’s title in its English translation or original German; the discussion will be in English. 
Sasha Marianna Salzmann: Beside Myself  (trans. Imogen Taylor. Other Press, 2020, 336 pages.)

Beside Myself is the disturbing and exhilarating story of a family across four generations. At its heart is one woman’s search for her twin brother. When Anton goes missing and the only clue is a postcard sent from Istanbul, Alissa leaves her life in Berlin to find him. Without her twin, the sharer of her memories and the mirror of her own self, Ali is lost.

In a city steeped in political and social changes, where you can buy gender-changing drugs on the street, Ali’s search—for her missing brother, for her identity—will take her on a journey for connection and belonging.
(Source: Text Publishing Company, February 2019)

Sasha Marianna Salzmann, born 1985 in Volgograd, Russia, grew up in Moscow until 1995. In order to escape post-Soviet Union antisemitism in Russia, their family emigrated to Germany. Salzmann studied Literature, Theatre and Media at the University of Hildesheim, and Creative Writing for the Stage at the Berlin University of the Arts. They are a playwright, essayist, curator, and writer in residence at the Maxim Gorki Theatre in Berlin. Salzmann’s work has been translated, shown, and awarded in over 20 countries. Beside Myself is Salzmann’s debut novel and has been translated into 16 languages; it has won the Mara-Cassens Prize and the Jürgen-Ponto Award for best debut novel. It was also shortlisted for the German Book Prize 2017, the Premio Strega Europeo 2019, and the Angelus Central European Literature Award 2019.


This month, the book club is fortunate to get the chance to hear from author Sasha Marianna Salzmann! Salzmann will join stage director Guy Ben-Aharon on June 18th at 9:00am PDT at the digital "Authors in Conversation" event, presented by Brandeis University (CGES) and Goethe-Institut Boston. The online event is free and open to the public; registration is required to receive digital access information.