170 KB – 8 Pages

PAGE – 1 ============
1 Olivia Wenzel 1 , 000 Coils of Fear 352 pp., hardcover S. Fischer Verlag , March 2020 ever had. And fucked the day of the German elections , I spend twenty minutes saying exactly this to try to talk her out of voting for a right – Olivia Wenzel Olivia Wenzel , born in Weimar in former East Germany in 1985, read Cultural Studies and Aesthetic Practice at the Uni versity of Hildesheim and now lives and works in Berlin. She writes drama and prose a nd makes music as Otis Foulie. Wenzel s plays have been performed at lead ing theatres like Munich Kammerspiele , Hamburg Thalia Theater, Deutsche s Theater Berlin a nd Ballhaus Naunynstrasse. Along side her writing, she runs workshops for children and young adults . 1 , 000 Coils of Fear is her first novel .

PAGE – 2 ============
2 Translation: Katy Derbyshire All rights reserved by S. Fischer Verlag GmbH E nglish Sample: Pages 39 50 WHERE ARE YOU NOW ? I it looks cold outside . ARE YOU CARRYING FOOD? N o . ARE YOU CARRYING MORE THAN 10,000 DOLLARS? N o . AT WHICH ADDRESS WILL YOU BE AVAILABLE? I want to decide spontaneously . Okay. WHO SHOULD BE CONTACTED IN CASE ANYTHING HAPPENS TO YOU? W supposed to happen to me ? WHO IS YOUR CONTACT PERSON IN CASE OF EMERGENCY? If I got run over by a random pick – up truck tomorrow and my grandmother received a dramatic call from the US , right there and then . ption. Intense heart attacks ! Brought to you by: y our grandchild! . agree , and Kim ; she hates that her personal belong to her . SMARTPHONES, FACEBOOK, GOOGLE MAPS ONCE UPON A TIME, THEY WERE THE MEGALOMANIAC WET DREAMS OF ZEALOUS STASI OFFICERS . A sexy, sexy dream come true! And maybe , I think suddenly, Kim hates me as well . please help us find hello? Miss, are you still there? But maybe Kim p if something were to happen to me . Maybe . her backpack in a mad rush , leave her flat and come after me . a mere 28 hours after that dramatic phone call from the US . I

PAGE – 3 ============
3 battered and bruised by the reckless pick – up truck , . At some point, , the odd tear wetting my IV drip , and outside the door a bunch of caring nurses would gather , women and men praying for me, for us, Hallelujah . Once Kim had finally calmed down and her tears were – encrusted cheek and whisper apologies, very quietly, almost soundless ly , her warm breath on my ear . S h e other . And then , at last , I wake from my coma and focus my on e remaining eye on her . DOES IT BOTHER YOU THAT THERE ARE SO FEW FIL MS IN WHICH YOU CAN SEE MEN CRY ING ? W hat ? ARE YOU RELIGIOUS ? WHICH FAITH DO YOU BELONG TO ? I . W HAT DO YOU BELIEVE IN ? Social relations . ARE YOU UNMARRIED ? That sounds medieval . DO YOU LIVE ALONE ? Yes . WHERE DO YOUR CLOSEST RELATIVES LIVE ? . ARE YOU VISITING FAMILY MEMBERS DURING YOUR STAY ? N o . W HERE DO THE MEMBERS OF YOUR FAMILY LIVE ? I real family, in the biological sense . The lone wolf, far away from its pack! . Out in the open the adventure begins! I come from a family in which the idea of travelling as far away from oneself as possible was romanticized to an inordinate degree . I come from a fa mily in which travel was always an unfulfilled desire . But not lone – wolf – like, more like YES, GO ON ! Picture this:

PAGE – 4 ============
4 M y mother : a young woman with bright blue hair and studded belts, a punk, trapped in side the GDR . A young woman who gets involved with an Angolan man in a small East German town where everybody knows everybody . A young woman who wants to be anywhere but here , who yearns excessively for her exit permit to be approved , . A young woman who envisions a life together in Angola, a life under a different s u n, a life in freedom . But then, at age 19, only a few months after giving birth to twins : arrest , annulment of the exit permit , her psyche crumbling inside a Stasi prison . IS THIS A PITCH FOR THE NEXT CLICH É D MADE – FOR – PUBLIC – TV MOVIE ABOUT LIFE IN THE GDR ? . WHAT IS THE PROBLEM THEN ? P retty often true . The p roblem is that they only ever give you the same single perspective , over and over . SO ? Picture this: M y mother : a woman who raises my twin brother and me as best she can but as if , to blame for her never getting out of the blasted fuc king country , meaning sometimes East Germany and sometimes West Germany . Before 1990, after 1990 she always has to stay . Her man is long gone, has a new family in Angola because the old one never came to join him back then, and always not enough money, always alone . BUT SHE HA VE YOU TWO KIDS ? M y mother today : a 53 – year – old woman who can never get over her multiple confinements , . A woman who commits herself to a mental institution and declares me dead too . An injured creature backed into a corner and baring her teeth for her entire life . RABIES? What? YOU CAN DIE OF RABIES WITHIN 15 DAYS FROM INFECTION . ARE YOU VACCINATED ? Against what ? AGAINST EVERYTHING THAT MIGHT BE A DANGER TO YOU. That scar , that small embossed so many others born in the GDR . It used to fascinate me when I was a child . I

PAGE – 5 ============
5 thought it was a miniature map of a wonderful secret land . PERVERSE. S h e refu ses all contact . I last saw her at the funeral . IN WHICH INSTITUTION IS SHE NOW? . AND YOUR BROTHER? W hat about him ? HOW DID HE LOSE HIS LIFE ? Lose his life . Get loose of his life? OTHER FAMILY MEMBERS ? M y father writes two emails a year fr om Angola. One of them always comes a day before our birthday , or now only before my birthday . correct date . AND YOUR GRANDPARENTS ? M y grandfather is dead , cancer, but my grandmother is still around . W HERE IS SHE NOW ? Probably at . W HY SO DISMISSIVE ? Picture this: M y grandmother : loyal Communist Party supporter and proud mother of two daughters , proud in general and often because of her good connections ( n ylon panty hose and denims , West German chocolate and a vacation bungalow on the Baltic Sea every summer ), proud of her pretty blond hairdos , proud of her striking beauty , of her above – average intelligence , and intelligence . M y grandmother : a vain t eenager who longs for nothing more than to be an air hostess . In order to combine pleasure with profession . In order to travel to all over the world, in order to be able to go away without really being away . Because of course, the GDR is great leave . To be an air hostess so as to escape her violent father . To be an air hostess so as to see more and be more than the stupid idiots from her town , to be an air hostess so as to find out what flying feels like . But then unfortunately never becoming an air hostess but instead a mother and later a secretary . Slipped disc in her mid – forties, unfit to work since then . SO MUCH FAILURE ON THE MATERNAL SIDE. Excuse me, is your family : a ) cursed, b ) just very unlucky, c ) mentally ill or d ) pretty

PAGE – 6 ============
6 solid considering the circumstances? M y grandmother today : a cute, plump woman just over seventy afraid of . A woman who loves the warmth of her heating pad . openly to me, her irritable granddaughter , and certainly not ab out her other grandchild, the boy who took his own life . WHAT ARE YOU KEEPING SECRET? N othing . HAVE YOU EVER THOUGHT ABOUT THE WORD HEIM , HOME, IN THE GERMAN WORD FOR KEEPING SECRETS, VERHEIMLICHEN ? OR ABOUT THE WORD UNHEIMLICH , UNCANNY? N o . OR ABOUT THE WORD GEHEIMNIS , SECRET? All the men in our family are dead or far away , the surviving women are damaged, each in their own way , a nd I can travel as often and as far as I like, even though travel never mattered to me . need to do anything in order to be ab le to travel, apart from being born in the right place at the right time . I can even think about travel as a vacation activity , I can think , while travelling , about the self – , while thousands of people are embarking on forced travel , which is being referred to with words like crisis and wave and influx . S THE MAIN SUBJECT, LONELINESS AS A SIDE EFFECT. WHAT ELSE ? W hy loneliness ? WHY DO YOU BITE YOUR NAILS? When we were kids , our mother would sometimes go on vacation without us . Once, she spent two months travelling around French Guyana a nd Suriname. Our grandfather was in hospital at th e on hold . Melanie, looked after us . Melanie s p artner, a moderate n eo – N azi, was there as well sometimes . When dinner was ready , he liked to call my brother and me to the table ; coffee beans to hurry up and come to the kitchen already . When my mother came back from her vacation, it was the first time her nails the skin around them unharmed abroad . SO SHE DID TRAVEL AFTER ALL.

PAGE – 8 ============
8 skyscrapers . Something is heading in my direction, I know it is , I think and belch silently . YOU RE IN THE MIDDLE OF A BUSTLING METROPOLIS AND YOU BELCH SILENTLY. Do the people in a city of thirty million bustle more intensively than in the Thuringian Forest ? Do I have more in common with the people in New York than with those in the Thuringian Forest ? Why do I feel so comfortable here ? At th e laundromat, on the streets, in the Mexican food place . dare to go is church . I for miles against the wind . FOR MILES AGAINST THE WIND, COME OFF IT. A few years ago, Kim a diagram that showed I come from the most a religious place in the world . WHERE IS KIM NOW? In Berlin. AND WHY DO YOU FEEL SO COMFORTABLE HERE AND NOT WITH HER? In New York , I walk along Fifth Avenue and eat a banana without giving it a second thought . EXCELLENT! THE THREEFOLD PROBLEM WITH BANANAS. Let me explain: 1. Eating a banana in public as a Black person : racist monkey analogies , oo ga h oo ga h oo ga h . Ouch . 2 . Eating a banana as an East German the banana as an allegory of the inferiority of beige East Germany to the golden West . The banana as a bridge to prosperity , exoti c fruits as a symbol of economic supremacy . Jeez , those dumb East Germans queued for hours for them when the Wall came down . 3 . Eating a banana as a woman b lowjob s and all that . The banana as a penis analogy a nd a tool of sexism . Insecure pubescent teenagers traumatizing other insecure pubescent teenagers . Do a deepthroat, heh h eh h eh . Heh h eh h eh . In New York , I walk along Fift h Avenue and eat a banana without giving it a second thought . A nd afterwards I realize : That was a moment j ust now that others call freedom . In New York , I stand on a rooftop at night and stare nervously and cluelessly at a s kyline I know from movies and postcards . A nd afterwards I realize : That was a moment just now that others call future . In New York , I think of my brother and miss him less than usual . A nd afterwards I realize : Like this could be good .

170 KB – 8 Pages