Nora Gantenbrink was born in 1986; her mother stopped breastfeeding her at an early age due to Chernobyl. After completing a pointless course of studies in Münster, she attended the Henri Nannen School of Journalism in Hamburg. She subsequently worked at Spiegel Online and then went on to write articles for Stern, Zeit, Spiegel and Wurstmagazin. She’s been working as a journalist for Stern since 2003.
After her bestseller My F***ing Heart (2013) this is the first, extremely personal novel by the fantastic storyteller, Nora Gantenbrink.
“In my dream, I’m walking past butchers’ saws and pickling salt. The sunlight makes a golden triangle on the concrete in the yard, which my father is standing in. While I’m standing there staring at him, my mother is busy cutting up pig intestines down in the cellar. My father turns around, sees me and says something, but I can’t hear what it is. He flicks away his cigarette and spreads his arms out wide and I let myself fall from the ramp into them. My childhood smells of sausage, my dad smells of hash. His curls tickle my face. Then I wake up.”
None of the things which Nora Gantenbrink tells of exist anymore. The shop she describes, her parents’ marriage, her father. All that remain are stories. Tales of drug trips, tales of how dad was shot at in the underground garage when he was a student, of overseas trips and great adventures. And the one story that didn’t have a happy ending, namely the time her dad came back from one of his trips with HIV.
Nora Gantenbrink’s first novel is a book about her hippy father, but also about a journey back in time to the Germany of the 60s, 70s, 80s, 90s and noughties, to the Maghreb and to far-flung parts of Asia. It’s a tale of friendship, love, addiction and yearning, and of a young woman striving to forgive.