A Fine Couple (Ein schönes Paar)
fiction, new title
250pp (58,000 words)
They make a fine couple: Georg, a young soldier, and Herta, a seamstress at a fashion house who dreams of a future as a model. After a chance encounter turns into love, the two marry in 1942 and after the war settle into an unexceptional life with their small son Philipp in the newly formed East German state.
One day, however, Georg comes into contact with the West German authorities, who try to recruit him as an informant. When a tell-tale letter arrives from the West, he flees to West Germany, terrified of being arrested. There he finds a job in a textile factory, Herta and Philipp follow him, and the little family begins a new life. But then Georg is accused of stealing money from the company accounts. His marriage to Herta collapses. Herta vanishes completely from the lives of her husband and son for many years, leaving Philipp with nothing but a few postcards – with no return address – to remind him of his mother.
Years later, when Philipp has grown up, he sets out on a journey into the past – a journey that leads him towards a remarkable discovery.
A gripping novel about flight, love and ephemerality of life, set against the backdrop of East and West Germany.
»The David Lynch among German novelists.«
»The reader is always close to the couple, whose life story Gert Loschütz recreates in his new novel. The author writes in an observer’s sober language with detailed yet never banal descriptions which make one feel sun and icy rain, and hands that intertwine.«
»The fascination of Loschütz’ language lies in its capability to enigmatically charge up everyday life without slipping off into mystification. (...) Simultaneously confusing and beautiful.«
Christoph Schröder, ZEIT ONLINE