Juli Zeh: Eagles and Angels

longlisted for the international IMPAC Award

German Book Award (Best Debut)

Bremen Literature Award

Rauris Award

Friedrich Hölderlin Award for Emerging Talent

Caroline Schlegel Award

Ernst Toller Award

Juli Zeh
Eagles and Angels



English sample translation (pdf)

Jessie is dead. She shot herself while on the phone to Max. Max is a successful lawyer with an international law firm in Vienna. But when Jessie – his former school friend and daughter of a drug dealer – re-enters his life, his love and concern for her distraught state, takes over. Jessie’s suicide sends Max into a drug-induced oblivion ... and so ADLER UND ENGEL begins.

Juli Zeh’s debut novel is fast-paced, it gets under the reader’s skin and seeps into every convolution of the brain. Sparks fly from the most unlikely details. Simultaneously, it sketches a frighteningly impressive panorama of the present world after the collapse of ideologies. Everything happens in a language both racy and contemporary, a language that is the expression of the sensitivity and uncertainty of the protagonists.
Reading ADLER UND ENGEL is like hearing the atmosphere of the present day talk.

»Juli Zeh is one of the most exciting voices to emerge in German writing in recent years. She writes like nobody else about the post-nihilist emptiness of the new European fun generation, exploring the vacuum of values with shocking honesty.«
Hugo Hamilton

Juli Zeh has been honoured with the prestigious Thomas Mann Prize (endowed with 25,000 EUR) for her »multi-faceted work of prose focusing on questions of individual freedom and responsibility, social values and orientation. With her cleverly composed novels and conclusively argued essays Juli Zeh succeeds in creating lucid analyses of the present. In this she takes her turn in the best tradition of engaged literature – for a world desperately needing authors like her.«
Previous laureates include Daniel Kehlmann, Ruth Klüger, Günter Grass or Christa Wolf.

Rights sold

Turkey – Metis
paperback – Random House/btb
audio book – Random House Audio

Previously published (rights reverted)
Brazil – Record
Bulgaria - Colibri
Canada - Anansi
Croatia – Durieux
Czech Republic – Odeon/Euromedia
Denmark - Rosinante
Estonia – Pegasus
Finland – Tammi
France – Belfond
Georgian Republic - Ibis
Greece - Opus Magnum
Hungary - Athenaeum 2000
Israel – Keter
Italy - Fazi
Latvia - Mansards
Lithuania - baltos lankos
Macedonia (Albanian) - Asdreni
The Netherlands (1st ed.) - Van Gennep
The Netherlands (2nd ed.) - Ambo|Anthos
Norway – Gyldendal
Poland – W.A.B.
Portugal - Guimaraes
Romania - Niculescu
Russia (1st ed.) – Limbus
Russia (2nd ed.) – Azbooka
Serbia - Dereta
Slovenia - Ucila
Spain (Castilian World) – Siruela
Spain (Catalan) - Empúries
Sweden – Norstedts
Ukraine – Nora-Druk
UK/Commonwealth – Granta
US – Granta

book club – Büchergilde Gutenberg (D); Buchgemeinschaft Donauland (A)
book club - Bertelsmann Club (D, CH)
school book edition – Brinkmann Meyhöfer

» Contact


»The failure of politics has rarely been made clearer by a representative of the younger generation as through Juli Zeh’s debut novel ADLER UND ENGEL.« She describes the despair of a whole generation »in the face of the cynical combination of politics, profit and crime.«
In the opinion of the jury, Juli Zeh, with her description of her travels in war shattered Bosnia, DIE STILLE IST EIN GERÄUSCH, published in 2002, continues the tradition of Ernst Toller’s socio-critical and political travel prose into the present.
Ernst-Toller-Award, The Jury

»A most magnificent debut novel about self-destructing attempts to escape from the maze of mafia-like connections between profit and politics.«
Jury Bremen Literature Award

»Bret Easton Ellis and Michel Houellebecq have paved the way for a bitter and chilly criticism of our times and Juli Zeh travels along this path in her very own way. Her means is the investigation of our way of life rather than the playing with its symptoms. With her imagination, awareness of the present and high intelligence Juli Zeh has written herself up to this level of literature with ease.«

»A strong debut. A book that is being to be considered the best German debut this year. At least.«

»This is a most astonishing book: A love-story without false romance, a thriller without eagerly trying to solve the crime, a drug-story without moral judgement. It is politics without a fanatic partisanship, a contemporary novel without being bound up in itself. But first and foremost it is the sensational debut of a self-confident author.«
Sächsische Zeitung

»The Wunderkind of this season is called Juli Zeh.«
Neue Zürcher Zeitung

»Hallucinatory spell-bound of a night-mare.«

»Juli Zeh succeeded in writing a debut novel towering above all publishers productions like a monolith.«
die tageszeitung

»Quick-witted prose. Bitter reckoning with the brave new world. Houellebecq’s equal in every way.«

»A sensational debut-novel: exciting, courageous, uncompromomising.«

»Perhaps the debut of the season...Hits you right between the eyes. ...a literary trip, which takes your breath away again and again ...a passionate epic full of anxieties and torments, a whirring drug-saga, a heartwrenching love story – all in a language which can’t be compared to anything else published this year.«
Hamburger Morgenpost

»Critics cheer! Is this the thriller of the season?«

»Extremely unusual in young German literature. Breathtakingly thrilling.«
Financial Times

»With this sparkling and most astonishing novel Juli Zeh opened up wide the door to her literary future.«
Süddeutsche Zeitung

»Juli Zeh wrote the long awaited great realistic novel ranking as the most beautiful and wildest German prose being published in recent years. Literature with the figurative magical power of Gabriel García Márquez and the pitiless realism of Raymond Carver. Zadie Smith’s equal in every way.«
Die Weltwoche

»A female, european counterpart to Thomas Wolfe and Bret Easton Ellis.«
Neues Deutschland

»Prose with intelligent dynamics and quick-witted.«

»For a long time have not read such an impressive debut-novel.«
Aargauer Zeitung

»An extemely contemporary novel. Her metaphors are disturbing, her heroes uncompromising. A cynical insolent novel that gets right under your skin.«

»A sensational novel. The discovery of the season. Stylistically shrewd!«

»Gripping and fantastically written.«

»Terrific like a Quentin-Tarantino movie are Juli Zeh’s poetic images.«

Reviews from abroad

»Rich in metaphor and confidence, impressive in its detail and intent...a precocious first journey.«
Daily Telegraph

»Zeh has been compared to Michel Houllebecq, and readers looking for another grim vision of contemporary Europe - with an action-adventure twist (think Run Lola Run) - will find much to appreciate here.«
Publishers Weekly

»Juli Zeh advances masterly zigzag. She uses different genres and by incorporating doses of thriller and love story she mingles an explosive cocktail. A brilliant and devilish dark first hit of an extraordinary author, exceptionally rousing with surprising changes in rhythm and captivatingly poetic moments.«
Livres hebdo

»Dark and cool...ADLER UND ENGEL has ambition and vivacity rarely present in British fiction.«
Scotland On Sunday

»Juli Zeh's first novel features a tortured Teuton called Max, reminiscent of characters by Heinrich Böll or Günther Grass. Zeh's style is always enjoyable. She writes brittle little sentences, trying to shock and often succeeding. Her characters are vivacious and thrilling; she tussles with big themes, and is fuelled by an admirable fury. What shines through is Zeh's exhilarating ambition, as she dares to plunge deep into the dark heart of Europe and expose its core.«
The Guardian

»Impressively structured debut...the bleakness is alleviated with flashes of wry comedy...Humour aside, what fuels this narrative is not white powder but white rage.«
The Independent

»Part dark romance, part socially aware thriller...were this giddy plot to unfold in urban America it would be less shocking; it is the incongruity of its German setting and European flavour that makes it so. That and Zeh’s language, which pulses with sadistic nastiness even in translation.«

»A great book in any language. While her writing is skilful, if not entirely unique, it is certainly up there with the best, such as Easton Ellis and Jonathan Franzen, and this book thoroughly deserves the accolades it has been receiving in German.«
M2 Best Books

»Juli Zeh’s books are intelligent, poignant, witty, and surprising.«
bücher – Tomorrow’s 10 most important writers

»Most amazing, how accomplished and eloquent Juli Zeh handles the epical form and keeps the tension up in her voluminous first novel.«
Solothurn Literature Award, Jury Statement

»Juli Zeh, qui capte tout de suite la sympathie par sa franchise, son sourire en coin, son ton enjoué, est devenue une romancière reconnue et couronnée de nombreux prix.«

More titles by Juli Zeh

Juli Zeh: The Full Monty. Not a NovelJuli Zeh: Even Silence Is a Sound. Travels through BosniaJuli Zeh: Gaming Instinct (Spieltrieb)Juli Zeh: A Dog Runs through the RepublicJuli Zeh: The Little Encyclopedia for Household DogsJuli Zeh: Gaming Instinct (stage version)Juli Zeh: SchilfJuli Zeh: Schilf (stage version)Juli Zeh: The Land of PeopleJuli Zeh: The Method (Corpus delicti)Juli Zeh: Decompression (Nullzeit)Juli Zeh: TreidelnJuli Zeh: Good Morning, Boys and GirlsJuli Zeh: At Night They Are Animals