Reinhard Kaiser: Paper Kisses

German Youth Literature Award

Lower Rhine Literature Award

Reinhard Kaiser
Paper Kisses

memoir/biography, young adult

128pp (25,600 words) with illustrations

English sample translation (pdf)

A fascinating piece of literary detective work about star- crossed lovers in Nazi Germany. Rudolf Kaufmann, a young Jewish geologist, met young Swede Ingeborg Magnusson in Italy in 1935, and the two quickly fell in love. They spent just a few days together before they had to part. He traveled once to see her in Stockholm; she went once to Germany. After that they had to make do with an exchange of letters – ordinary, sad, and dramatic at the same time – telling the story of a love that blossomed under traumatic circumstances.
KÖNIGSKINDER covers the period from 1935 to 1941, when Rudolf, having fled Nazi Germany for the apparent safety of Lithuania, was to disappear from view. Sixty years later, at a stamp auction, author Reinhard Kaiser bought a packet of envelopes that still held their original handwritten contents. The tale he discovered on the pages of Rudolf’s letters to his beloved ›Ingelein‹ immediately captivated Kaiser and he tracked down their story.

Rights sold

audio book – der Diwan

Previously published (rights reverted)
Czech Republic - Kartuziánské nakladatelství
Denmark - Tyskfolaget
France - Autrement
Greece - Boukoumanis
Italy - Longanesi, TEA (paperback)
Italy - Mondadori bookclub
Japan - Hakushuisha
Korea - Motive
Spain (Castilian World) - Alba Editorial
Sweden - Alfabeta
Taiwan (Chinese complex) - New Sprouts
US (English World) - Other Press

paperback editions - Berlin Verlag, S. Fischer

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Reviews

»A deeply saddening but also very touching book has arisen - a literary work of the utmost significance, because Kaiser pieces together text and picture with great finesse.«
Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung

»KÖNIGSKINDER shows poetically why in real life everything is more beautiful but also more tragic than in literature.«
Focus

»Outstanding representative of a consciousness-raising memoir-literature.«
Jury Lower Rhine Literature Award

»As unbelievable as life.«
Süddeutsche Zeitung

»It is the touching story of a great love, which had to collapse in the face of contempt for mankind of its time.«
Hamburger Abendblatt


Reviews from abroad:

»Kaiser’s gem of a story provides readers with a fresh, intimate angle from which to view the devastating effects of Hitler’s war on the world.«
Publishers Weekly

»Reinhard Kaiser might have written a novel based on these letters. But he’s accomplished something finer. KÖNIGSKINDER is a sort of archeology of the heart: beautiful, heartbreaking, memorable.«
Mary Dora Russell, author of A Thread of Grace

»The story is compelling, and the experience is similar to reading Anne Frank's Diary.«
School Library Journal

»KÖNIGSKINDER is a story that will haunt the reader long after the short book is over.«
The Historical Novel Review

»A tale of brief happiness, misfortune, and the vicissitudes of war and racism. The text of KÖNIGSKINDER does not even run to 100 pages, but the emotional distance covered there is enormous. (...) This is, at the very least, one of the saddest story I've ever heard. But it is also a fundamental and imperishable tale of what happens to two fairly ordinary people, who only longed to be together during one of the darkest moments in all of history.«
Jewish Exponent

More titles by Reinhard Kaiser

Reinhard Kaiser: »Let This Child Live«. The Writings of Helene Holzman 1941-1944Reinhard Kaiser: Eos' DesireReinhard Kaiser: Incredible Rescue. The Search for Edwin GeistReinhard Kaiser: Childish