Someone is watching over Sofie Kurtz. At times, from a great distance. At others, her mysterious guardian comes much too close. But as she evolves, from teenage war orphan, to political activist, to militant dissident, Sofie is only vaguely aware of her benefactor’s hand in the events that compose her life story. There are inexplicable coincidences and strange encounters, obscure facts that make her question the degree of control she has over her life and lead to a lingering paranoia that becomes devastating.
A reclusive millionaire named Alexander von Brücken invites an unnamed author to his mansion. If he accepts the invitation he must be willing to listen carefully to Von Brücken’s story, then leave without ceremony and record it in writing. The author will be paid a small fortune for his efforts and, with a story such as his to tell, literary fame is guaranteed. The magnate’s only stipulation is that the book not be published until after his death. His is a story of the arrogance of limitless power, of the apparent ineluctability of the status quo, and of a ruinous, sovereign obsession with a young girl he chanced to meet during the war—a young girl named Sofie Kurtz.
Helmut Krausser is one of Germany’s most daring contemporary writers. In this engrossing novel he traces the period from Nazi Germany to the fall of the Berlin Wall in a modern allegory of power and powerlessness. The clash of truth and fiction and the unholy chemistry of fanaticism and erotic obsession vivify a seductive narrative about the dangerous games that Eros plays with us.
“Krausser takes the age-old motif of love unrequited until death a step further: this is a novel that already reads like a classic.”—Playboy (Germany)
Helmut Krausser is a novelist, poet, diarist, dramaturge, composer, and screenwriter. He was born in 1964 in Esslingen. He now lives in Berlin. At various times he has worked as a night watchman, newspaper canvasser, opera extra, vocalist in a rock ‘n‘ roll band, and journalist. He has a degree in Roman archaeology. His novels Der große Bagarozy (The Great Bagarozy) and Fette Welt (Fat World) have been adapted for the screen starring Jürgen Vogel. He is also the author of UC (2003) Die wilden Hunde von Pompeji (The Wild Dogs of Pompeii, 2004) and “Strom” (Stream, 2004).