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Other titles in the German List series:
The Shadow-Boxing Woman (Sb-The German List)by Inka Parei
Synopses & Reviews
Close to death, an old man collapses and struggles to his bed. The sounds of the endless night unsettle him, triggering images, questions, and memories. In What Darkness Was, Inka Parei, author of The Shadow-Boxing Woman, allows the reader to inhabit a singular German mind. Precise and observant—but uncomprehending and on the brink of hysteria—the old man wracks his brain as the questions flow like water: why did he inherit the building he now lives in? Why did he leave the city that was his home for so long? Is he even here voluntarily? And who was that suspicious stranger on the stairs? Lying in bed, the old man is aware that these questions may be the last puzzles he ever solves.
Combining tight prose with a compulsive delight in detail, Parei’s second novel in English presents a dynamic portrait of the West German soul from World War II through the German Autumn of 1977.
In The Shadow-Boxing Woman, a novel from German writer Inka Parei, a decaying apartment building in post-Wall Berlin is home to Hell, a young woman with a passion for martial arts. When Hells neighbor disappears she sets out across the city in search of her. In the course of her quest, she falls in love with a bank robber, confronts her own dark memories, and ends up saving more than just her missing neighbor.
What is on the surface a crime novel is actually a haunting dual portrait of a city and a woman caught up in times of change and transition. This debut novel in English combines Pareis tight prose with a compulsive delight in detail that dynamically evokes many lost and overlooked corners of Berlin.
About the Author
Inka Parei was born in Frankfurt and moved to Berlin in 1987, where she studied German literature and Chinese studies. She now lives in Prenzlauer Berg with her son, writing and tutoring emerging literary talents. She is also the author of Was Dunkelheit war. Katy Derbyshire is a Berlin-based translator from London.
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The Shadow-Boxing Woman
a novel by Inka Parei, translated by Katy Derbyshire
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