Brigitte Reimann author Lucy Jones translator
Publisher:Penguin Books Ltd
Published:2nd Feb '23
Available for immediate dispatch.
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'Spare, chilling, with wild flashes of vivid colour and the tempo of a thriller, Siblings jolts us into the beating heart of a family and post-war East Germany, conjuring the political dreams and divisions that make and ultimately break both' Lisa Appignanesi
1960. The border between East and West Germany has closed.
For Elisabeth - a young painter - the GDR is her generation's chance to build a glorious, egalitarian socialist future. For her brother Uli, it is a place of stricture and oppression. Separating them is the ever-wider chasm of the Party line; over them loom the twin spectres of opportunity and fear, and the shadow of their defector brother Konrad. In prose as bold as a scarlet paint stroke, Brigitte Reimann battles with the clash of idealism and suppression, familial loyalty, and desire. The result is this ground-breaking classic of post-war East German literature.
Translated by Lucy Jones
It is hard to believe that this brilliant novel has taken so many years to find its way into English translation. Spare, chilling, with wild flashes of vivid colour and the tempo of a thriller, Siblings jolts us into the beating heart of a family and post-war East Germany, conjuring the political dreams and divisions that make and ultimately break both -- Lisa Appignanesi
Intoxicating... dense, jagged... Lucy Jones's translation excellently captures the dry wit, expressionistic boldness and seductively odd rhythms that make the original German so charismatic -- Alexander Wells * Guardian *
Atmopsheric... complex, prickly, funny... Reimann's novel has the tense mood of a play - a family drama by Henrik Ibsen or Arthur Miller - with plenty of fiery dialogue between the characters about politics, industry and art... [Reimann] is a flash of colour in a grey landscape -- Johanna Thomas-Corr * The Sunday Times *
Reimann's depiction of the complexities of nationhood are remarkably modern, and her portrayal of the sibling bond unnerving and tender... A striking portrait of what it feels like to be young, idealistic and crushed by the systems around you * New Statesman *
A groundbreaking classic of GDR literature... a phenomenon -- Kate Connolly * Guardian *
Short, artful... Although Siblings is decidedly a realist novel, some moments feel more modernist [...] Indeed, one of the most intriguing subplots concerns her engagement with what it means to make realist art - a mission complicated by sexism in the party's ranks... Vivid -- Franklin Nelson * Financial Times *
[Lucy] Jones's translation ably captures the frankness of Elisabeth's voice: the fast transitions, sensual visual imagery and careful ironic distance. At its best the prose evokes a kind of flickering street photography... Siblings is too good a novel to be read merely for the way in which it reflects on the limited political horizons of our era; but if you are looking to imagine your way beyond them, it gestures to a picture of a future that never was -- Kevin Brazil * TLS *
This vivid and intriguing novel, published in 1963, is a largely autobiographical story by an author who had a short, eventful life, marrying four times and declaring her intent to live "30 wild years instead of 70 well-behaved ones"... Siblings is given new life in this translation by Lucy Jones -- John Self * Observer *
Like a book from a lost civilisation... Siblings is a generational book. Like Gen X-ers or Gen Z-ers, Reimann looked about her to see that the markers of life and society had been put in place by people alien to her... An almost cool, static, geometrical spider's web of a book -- Michael Hofmann * LRB *
She made our hearts beat. She showed women both in the east and the west how to live. In short she was one of the coolest chicks in town -- Carolin Würfel, author * Three Women Who Dreamed of Socialism *
Dimensions: 215mm x 136mm x 13mm