Marzahn, Mon Amour

Katja Oskamp


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Peirene Press Ltd
1 January 2022
ISBN: 9781908670694

From the publisher

A woman approaching the ‘invisible years’ of middle age abandons her failing writing 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, she observes her clients and co-workers, listening to their stories with empathy and curiosity.

Part memoir, part collective history, Katja Oskamp’s love letter to the inhabitants of Marzahn is a tender reflection on life’s progression and our ability to forge connections in the unlikeliest of places. Each person’s story stands alone as a beautifully crafted vignette, but together they form a portrait of a community.

Translated from the German by Jo Heinrich.

“A real gem … full of tough wit and resilience.” – Catherine Taylor, The Irish Times

“It’s rare to come across a book of such captivating warmth and humour. There is something magical at play in Marzahn, Mon Amour. I loved every page of it.”– Rónán Hession, author of Leonard and Hungry Paul and Panenka

“Katja Oskamp knows how to capture the essence of people beautifully. They really come to life in her portraits. A powerful book.” – Frank-Walter Steinmeier, President of Germany

“Oskamp is a curious observer and gleans intimate insights into the lives of the many who carried on as best they could when things got tough… Marzahn, Mon Amour captures a piece of modern history and brings it right down to the human level.” – Catherine Venner, World Literature Today