DAS GARTENZIMMER /
THE GARDEN ROOM
A Novel, ca. 352 pages
English sample available
"If this book was a house, you'd want to live in it. (…) This is a work in which there are no details, no secondary figures or plot ramifications that remain without meaning. This novel is already convincing as a spatial composition. As a lin-guistic space it testifies to enormous skill. As if in the maelstrom of history, the protagonists each develop in their own layer of time. The narrative, in which flashbacks to the beginning of the 20th century and a present at its end alternate in leaps and bounds without ever losing its rhythm, jumps confidently and sure-footedly from time to time.” Gerhard Matzig – Süddeutsche Zeitung
"In 'The Garden Room', Schäfer tells of the disintegration of a family and the ghostly pres-ence of the past in a smooth and sensitive language." Oliver Pfohlmann - Tagesspiegel
A complex, epic story - family, artist and contemporary novel.
"As a reader I move into this special house that Andreas Schäfer builds in this novel. In the end I don't want to leave." David Wagner
A House Between the Times
The "Villa Rosen", a neoclassical country house, was designed in 1908 by the architect Max Taubert, who later achieved world fame, for a Professor Adam Rosen and his wife Elsa. When Frieder and Hannah Lekebusch discovered the empty house on the edge of Berlin's Grunewald forest in the mid-nineties, they succumbed to its enchanted charm. The Leke-busch family restored the house to its original state in a lavish restoration project, and the shin-ing new Dahlem villa, a "jewel of pre-modernity", quickly became a place of pilgrimage for Taubert fans, artists and influential journalists. And more and more - as was already the case during the Weimar Republic and the Nazi era - it is becoming a pawn in powerful people’s games. They wanted to reawaken the old spirit of the house, but the Lekebuschs did not reckon with the effects of fame and the long shadow of the past.
Art, morals, private happiness and politics: Das Gartenzimmer spans an arc from the spirit of optimism at the beginning of the 20th century, through the Weimar Republic and the rule of the National Socialists to the present day and tells wisely, sensitively and captivatingly of the fate of a house in Berlin Dahlem and the lives of those who cannot escape its siren-like
Andreas Schäfer was born into a German-Greek family in Hamburg in1969. He grew up in Frankfurt/Main and now lives in Berlin with his family, working as a writer and journalist. He has published three novels so far, ‘Auf dem Weg nach Messara’, for which he was awarded, amongst others, the Bremen Literature Prize; ‘Wir vier’ (DuMont 2010), which was nominated for the German Book Prize and awarded the Anna-Seghers-Prize; as well as the novels ‘Gesichter’ (2013) and ‘Das Gartenzimmer ‘(2020).