Release: 31.01.2023

Sample Translations


Sample Translations

  • Two childhoods, two worlds: Sabrina Janesch’s great novel about an untold chapter of German-Russian history.
  • Her previous novel Die goldene Stadt spent several weeks on the Spiegel bestseller list and sold over 50.000 copies. Rights to Die goldene Stadt were sold to Italy (Neri Pozza) and Spain (Almuzara).
  • Recommended by New Books in German.
  • English sample translation available.

Memories are the true home.

The word that Josef Ambacher picks up sounds terrifying: Siberia. The grown-ups use it for everything that lies in the distant, unknown east. It’s 1945 and hundreds of thousands of German civilians are deported there by the Soviet army, among them Josef. Kazakhstan is the destination. Once there, he finds himself in a harsh but also wondrous world full of myths, and he learns to prevail against the steppe and its misrepresentation.

Mühlheide, 1990: Josef Ambacher is confronted by his past when a wave of ethnic German immigrants from Kazakhstan arrive in the small town in Lower Saxony. His daughter Leila is caught in the middle and has to mediate – at a time when she herself is grasping the horror of the story and trying to keep it at bay.

Sabrina Janesch narrates the history of two childhoods, one in Central Asia after the Second World War, one 50 years later in Lower Saxony, compellingly and in glowing colours. In the process, she masterfully traces an arc that connects unknown, untold chapters of German-Russian history with one another. A great novel about the search for Heimat, the ghosts of the past and the love that might conquer them.

Sabrina Janesch impressively demonstrates how narrative can reassert itself as a productive form of remembering.” FAZ about Katzenberge

A sad, but simultaneously beautiful, book about the often incredible power of imagination and about family ties across time and state borders.” NDR Kultur about Katzenberge

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Sample Translations
  • Publisher: Rowohlt Berlin
  • Release: 31.01.2023
  • 352 pages
  • ISBN: 978-3-7371-0149-3
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Frank Zauritz

Sabrina Janesch

Born in 1985, Sabrina Janesch studied cultural journalism at the University of Hildesheim and polonistics at the Jagiellonian University in Krakow. Her novel Katzenberge was published in 2010, with Ambra (2012), Tango für einen Hund (2014), Die goldene Stadt (2017) and Sibir 2021) following. Sabrina Janesch has been awarded many prizes for her literary work, including the Mara Cassens Prize, the Nicolas Born Prize and the Anna Seghers Prize. She was a resident writer at New York’s Ledig House and held the post of official writer of the city of Gdansk. Sabrina Janesch lives with her family in Münster.