Judith Kuckart



304 pages
First day of sale: 08.03.2013
ISBN 978-3-8321-9705-6

A novel
About 350 pages
Spring 2013

SWR Bestenliste May 2013
Longlist for the German Book Prize 2013

“A master in the dissection of disturbing emotions.”
Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung on “Die Verdächtige”

„Judith Kuckart’s text is certainly not a ready-made, as aren’t the dresses on sale in departmentstore Wünsche. The pattern is elaborate. The reading a treat.” –
Hajo Steinert in die Welt

„With an almost cool matter-of-factness Judith Kuckart’s novel is asking if happiness lies in leaving or in returning.“ Osnabrücker Zeitung

Escape to a new life – what would you wish for?

New Year’s Eve in a small town: Vera goes swimming. It is her 46th birthday. Like every year, her husband, her son and her friends are waiting at home to celebrate with her. At the pool she finds the passport of another woman and runs off. To London, where she hopes for more from life than her previous existence could offer.
That same day Friedrich Wünsche celebrates the reopening of the only department store in town. He inherited it and has many dreams for the future. What would be a better place for utopias than the Wünsche House?
When Vera returns, she is one grand illusion lighter – just like all the guests at the birthday party who were worried about her all New Year’s Eve.
After a long break, Judith Kuckart has written her great novel: human, truthful and oppressively beautiful.

English sample translation available!

The press on Judith Kuckart’s novel Wünsche

“Judith Kuckart explores what our dreams about a new beginning are really good for. It is a great adventure for everyone who likes running away in one’s mind.” - Brigitte

“The author lends the characters her sparse, highly-charged language, her merciless power of observation and her sense for the consonance of the large and small.”
Jenny Erpenbeck in Buchreport

“You really have to admire Judith Kuckart for trusting herself to set a novel in a middle class wasteland. But she can describe this world in delicately evil sentences… (and) constructed her novel cleverly … She easily succeeds in leading the general theme, the great female question “How do I look” through the whole book.” - Der Spiegel

“Judith Kuckart is a likeably reserved storyteller whose reduced gestures fit in all too well with the tranquillity and occasionally turbid atmosphere of a small city (without causing the tone to become gloomy.) … A novel like a never-ending New Year’s morning.”
Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung

“Judith Kuckart’s weaves her novel from melancholy material – essentially about the inevitability of growing older and death – but it is accompanied by a fleet-footed rhythm. She shapes a kind of marionette dance from the divergences of life in which her characters constantly move toward and away from each other, touch and yet miss each other. The author blatantly and pleasurably draws the strings, arranges settings, places images, tests outlooks.” – Neue Zürcher Zeitung

“A few dreams still fly high, other have burst long ago, and all of this in a small German town. Can that be exciting? Of course, when everything is as cleverly composed as in Judith Kuckart’s book... her springy, bold language holds everything together.” - Stern

“Seemingly as light as feather, the author slips into the skin of all these characters. She can say important things very quietly, express the emotional en passant in the language of delicate implacability... Kuckart is a trained dancer and her prose also exudes a graceful force. With random virtuosity she swirls up the past and present, tristesse and euphoria. And in the process she avoids all the clichés pertaining to life’s crises and the banalities of how-to books. The characters are not wooden assertions; they are alive.” – Kölnische Rundschau

“Judith Kuckart writes about dreams, desires and wishes ... she meticulously scans with her language the surfaces of life, generating urgent and fresh images.” – Kölner Stadtanzeiger

“With all the necessary seriousness and fleet-footed succinctness she writes about a woman who forgot what is really important in life. It is a novel full of worldly wisdom that makes one addicted when reading.” - Emotion

“Like in an anthology film, Kuckart narrates the reality of her ensemble of characters. She jumps back and forth, creates simultaneities and tightens scenes... The episodes are imbued with a gentle melancholy, the consciousness that life’s options become bundled the older one gets.” – Brigitte Woman

Judith Kuckart

Judith Kuckart, born in 1959 in Schwelm, Westphalia, lives and works as a writer and director in Berlin. In 2002, her novel ‘Lenas Liebe’ (Lena’s Love) was published by DuMont and made into a film in 2012. DuMont also published her short story collection ‘Die Autorenwitwe’ (The Author’s Widow), 2003, the reprint of her novel ‘Der Bibliothekar’ (The Librarian), 2004, and her novels ‘Kaiserstraße’ (2006), ‘Die Verdächtige’ (The Suspect), ‘Wünsche’ (Wishes), 2013, longlisted by the German Book Prize, ‘Dass man durch Belgien muss auf dem Weg zum Glück’ (That you need to cross Belgium to find happiness), 2015 and ‘Kein Sturm, nur Wetter‘ (No Storm, Only Wather). 2019. Judith Kuckart has won many literary prizes, including the Annette-von-Droste-Hülshoff-Preis (2012).