First day of sale: 19.06.2021
WENN WIR HEIMKEHREN /
WHEN WE COME HOME
A Novel, ca. 576 pages
Autumn 2021 – English sample available
Germany, post-war period: three people meet and give each other hope
What is a fulfilled life? What is home?
How do traumas perpetuate themselves over several generations?
Who are we - and who do we want to be?
Cologne 1952: The workman Wilhelm is standing in the room of a flat where he is supposed to put up a wall. A job he can't make sense of. But the inhabitants, Margot and her son Fred, are the ones he can't get out of his head.
Margot is a Luxembourger and comes from an upper-class background, but when, at seventeen, she is expecting an illegitimate child, she is faced with the ruins of her existence. She has to leave her home and is left to fend for herself in the middle of the war. When she comes to Cologne years later, Margot has burdened herself with guilt, and Wilhelm has also been traumatised by the war.
Wilhelm, Margot and Fred are lost people - searching for a home like no place can offer. So they look for home with one another, not knowing whether this fragile structure called family will last.
In her autobiographically based, intergenerational novel, Andrea Heuser tells of guilt and suppression, the desire for rootedness and a life in the mode of searching and carrying on. 'Wenn wir heimkehren' is at once a social epic, a psychologically nuanced family story, and a moving love story. A great, poetic novel, as profound as it is touching.
Andrea Heuser, born in Cologne in 1972, now lives with her family in Munich. She studied German language and literature, politics and comparative religious studies in Cologne and Bonn. In 2008, she published her poetry debut “vor dem verschwinden” (“before disappearing”), for which she was awarded the Wolfgang Weyrauch Prize of the Literarischer März Darmstadt, among others. In 2012 she was one of the finalists for the Merano Poetry Prize. Her debut novel “Augustas Garten” (2014) has been published by DuMont. For her work on “Wenn wir heimkehren” (“When We Come Home”) she received the Literary Scholarship of the Free State of Bavaria in 2016.