Svenja Leiber: A Good Light for Shooting

Prenzlauer Berg Literature Award

Werner Bergengruen Award

Bremen Literature Award for Outstanding Promise

Svenja Leiber
A Good Light for Shooting


154pp (27,700 words)

Frau Leites makes elderflower juice in empty schnapps bottles, the kids hang around by the bottle bank, an ex-junkie sands down the pigsty doors and the supermarket lorry sounds its horn at the bus terminus. In the north German countryside people love and marry, murder and die, and almost everyone has had a problem with the bottle at some time or other.

BÜCHSENLICHT sounds like a song – a song from the North.

Rights sold

Previously published (rights reverted)
audio book - Hörkultur
paperback – Berlin Verlag

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»This is Svenja Leiber’s language – not laconic, but lyrical. Not pared down, but exuberant. Measured against the current popular aesthetic ideal which tends to the taciturn that is a gain.«
Süddeutsche Zeitung

»Svenja Leiber is an author who strikes powerful notes. Her stories are gems from a seemingly unfamiliar hinterland, where – fortunately – neither latte macchiato nor salmon carpaccio are served.«
Neue Zürcher Zeitung

»Dense and pointed, accurate – and brutal.«

»There’s music in the language of this author, who uses all the possibilities available to her. A poet of polished harshness and sparkling wit, cruel, tender and cruelly tender, who wants to know how a sentence is going to go, opening up a chasm, nothingness or a treasure of warm-heartedness before right away closing it again.«
Bremen Literature Award for Outstanding Promise, Jury speech

»Svenja Leiber reduces her sentences to what is absolutely necessary. Not an ounce of fat, nothing superfluous – but all the more power and urgency. She achieves a succinctness and precision which is rarely encountered in the many all too garrulous books of her young colleagues.«

»A good light for shooting is in hunter’s terminology the daylight or moonlight which is sufficient to get in an accurate shot. In Svenja Leiber’s book BÜCHSENLICHT is the time at which people are at their most vulnerable. She doesn’t shoot them down with her stories. But she strikes them in the heart with her direct and poetic language.«

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Svenja Leiber: Schipino