Spiegel Bestsellerliste Platz 35 (KW 03)
Independent Bestsellerliste Platz 23 (Dezember)
That’s How it Was
Edited by Nicole Henneberg
624 pp (166,000 words)
>> A broad social portrait that begins in 1898 and ends in the New York emigrant milieu at the end of the 1950s
Following Effingers, Gabriele Tergit’s greatest wish was to write another great novel.
So war’s eben, a novel from the author’s estate now being published for the first time, follows the quotidian lives of affluent and not-so-affluent families from 1898 to the 1960s.
As the families’ fortunes take their course, World War I rages and the turmoil and right-left tensions of the Weimar Republic fill the editorial pages—Gabriele Tergit’s world during her tenure as a journalist.
On 30 January 1933, a family celebration that includes nearly all of the novel’s characters forms the preamble to their emigration—first to Prague and Paris, then London and the USA. Tergit illuminates the ever-greater problems facing both the emigrants and the Jews left behind—the suicides, the deportations, and the ruin of a Mischehe or forbidden mixed marriage.
Gabriele Tergit wanted to “depict her generation, with all of its hopes, disappointments, and disruptions; our entire senseless world starting in 1932.” She wanted to capture the generations of the displaced, including the Jewish refugees in New York whom Grete, Tergit’s alter ego, visits in the early 1950s.
Italy – Einaudi
The Netherlands – Van Maaskant Haun
»Gabriele Tergit's impressive novel about the destruction of the Jewish educated middle class in Berlin.«
Gerhard Zeillinger, Der Standard
»Tergit writes with a light touch, musically, with a great ear for the way people speak and a fine, deeply humane wit.«
Juliane Liebert, Die Zeit
»a great social novel (...) - brilliantly written«
Elke Heidenreich, Spiegel Bestseller: Mehr Lesen mit Elke Heidenreich
»Gabriele Tergit's novel reads (...) like an exciting document that once again brings together all the discourses and the associated realities between the Kaiserreich and Jewish exile.«
Katharina Teutsch, Deutschlandfunk »Büchermarkt«
»This novel, which was initially to be entitled Die Vertriebenen (The Displaced), is dedicated to the attempt to find an explanation for National Socialism and the Shoah by means of a description of German and German-Jewish life since the turn of the century that is as broad as it is profound.«
Luisa Banki, Jüdische Allgemeine
»From today's perspective, however, So war's eben reads fresh and rousing. Above all, Tergit's telegram-like style, the bold cinematic cuts pack vast amounts of knowledge into short sentences.«
Sabine Scholl, piqd »Literatenfunk«
»A captivating kaleidoscope of an incorruptible contemporary witness.«
»The comparison with the 'Buddenbrooks' is not far-fetched. As with Thomas Mann, an entire era is made visible in the life stories of one family.«
Uli Fricker, Rhein-Neckar-Zeitung
»Gabriele Tergit is a precisely observant, dissectingly descriptive contemporary witness of the 1920s and 1930s in Berlin.«
Richard Mariaux, Aachener Zeitung