Vendor
Hanser
Published by
Carl Hanser Verlag (January 2019)
Original language
German
Original title
Stella
Themas
True stories: generalHistorical fictionNarrative theme: Love & relationships
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Stella

by Würger , Takis

With tempo and force, Takis Würger tells a love story from the year 1942. A story about fear and hope, a dancing SS man, squirrels and betrayal. A story based on true events.

Friedrich comes from a sheltered background on Lake Geneva, a quiet young man in January 2019 search of the truth. He moves to Berlin and rents a room at the Adlon Hotel. At a drawing class, he meets Kristin. She takes Friedrich out on nights in secret jazz clubs. She drinks cognac with him and she gives him his first kiss. In the Berlin she inhabits, he can imagine that the war is far away.

Then Kristin disappears and when she returns, she is broken. Welts from whiplashes cover her body. She tells Friedrich the truth: Kristin is not her real name. Her name is Stella. She is a Jew. The Gestapo has unmasked her and offered her a pact: to save her family, Stella has to hunt out Jews in hiding. Friedrich faces the choice: should he betray her? Or should he betray his love?

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Comments

»There is a lot you can object to in this book. And yet you finish

it while hanging on to the edge of your seat.« Markus Clauer, Die Rheinpfalz

Reviews: Die Rheinpfalz

»A tremendous little book. An early candidate for this year’s German book awards.« Wolfgang Schütz, Augsburger Allgemeine

Reviews: Augsburger Allgemeine

»In his fast-paced 200-page text, Takis Würger raises the crucial question of whether a young woman

should be absolved of all guilt. He asks what conditions must prevail for a peaceful, good-natured person

to become an emotionally cold, revengeful criminal. It doesn’t seem to be that huge a step.« Ulrike Sárkány, NDR

Reviews: NDR

»This novel is a gripping portrayal of National Socialist brutality that ends in bitter helplessness.« J. Lau, Der Standard

Reviews: Der Standard

»Is there a right life in the wrong one? Würger avoids any hint of pathos, writing instead in clearly chiselled,

artfully sparse sentences when it comes to explaining psychological circumstances. But it is the escalating

state of emergency that explains everything in this slimmed down, concise novel.« Adrian Prechtel, AZ München

Reviews: AZ München

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