Stay Where You Are
novel, 232 pp (53,500 words)
For Matthias Harms a walk through the sunny postcard idyll of South Tyrol turns into a dangerous journey to the end of the night, a professional trip into a flight from himself.
A psychotherapist specialising in obsessive neuroses, he is attending a conference in Meran, when through a seemingly harmless incident he unexpectedly finds himself pushed up against his limits. He is tormented by memories of his sister who died much too young, and of their childhood together in an oppressively strict parental home.
Matthias, the usually controlled listener, who with his wife, a social worker, and his best friend makes up a club of the »well-intentioned«, becomes someone who is shattered and lost inside and all of whose certainties have gone astray.
Mareike Krügel shifts skilfully between past and future. With a dry wit and a sure sense of situation comedy she draws the affecting and dramatic profile of a man who to all appearances confidently has both feet on the ground and is successful in everything that counts in life.
»A new star has risen over reading Germany.«
paperback - Piper
»It's the small details that show how an existence becomes fragile. (...) The story gains a huge density and drama, developing a vortex that astonishingly reveals just how close a seemingly unspectacular story may come to disaster.«
»Sharply observant and in his own language, we follow Matthias as he experiences how it feels to lose control of yourself. (...) Profoundly reflected, Krügel points to the ambiguities that shape our lives.«
»What does it mean to have a life crisis? Mareike Krügel does not shy away from this question. She describes Harms’ life with sensitivity, without falling into cliches, and with an ironic undertone. She has a great eye for the oddities of everyday life, which adds a particular charm to the novel’s serious issue.«
Norddeutscher Rundfunk (NDR Kultur)
»Setting out on the terrain of neuropsychoanalysis, she has written a sparkling family story.«