Monsters Like Us
A novel of two young friends growing up on divergent paths in the last days of Communist East Germany.
What is it like to be young and broken in a country that is on the brink of collapse? This is what acclaimed poet and sound artist Ulrike Almut Sandig shows us in her debut novel, through the story of old friends Ruth and Viktor in the last days of Communist East Germany. The two central characters are inseparable since kindergarten, but they are forced to go their different ways to escape their difficult childhood: Ruth into music and the life of a professional musician; Viktor into violence and a neo-Nazi gang. Monsters Like Us is a story of families, a story of abuse, a story about the search for redemption and the ways it takes shape over generations. More than anything, it is about the stories we tell ourselves about who we are, and who we want to be. Bold, brutal, and lyrical, this is a coming-of-age novel that charts the hidden violence of the world we live in today.
New Books in German talks with Karen Leeder about translating the work of Ulrike Almut Sandig. Click here to read the full interview.
‘[A] musicality, together with the compelling narrative, makes Monsters Like Us a novel to be read and re-read; one discovers different layers of meaning on revisiting the text. Though pervaded by melancholy, it offers some hope for a better future, at least in the figure of Ruth. Far from being the “dummy-doll” of her childhood, she ultimately finds the strength to rebel and stand up for herself.’—Fiona Graham, Litro. Read the full review here.
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