Mathias Enard

  • Déserter
  • Literature

September 2001, a congress on the Havel. Paul Heudeber, mathematician, communist and concentration camp survivor, who has been a legend at least since his unexplained death, is honored. The eyes of those present wander to Maja, Paul’s great love, as fascinating as ever at 83, who at some point decided to pursue a career in the West – without Paul. As the images of the destroyed Twin Towers filter through, the party changes. It is up to Irina, the daughter of these larger-than-life lovers, to untangle the loose threads of their story.

Mathias Enard’s novels are often set in conflict zones and theaters of war; he has studied wars extensively and conducted interviews with veterans. Above all, his writing explores the destruction that violence leaves behind – including in people’s souls.

Mathias Enard, born in France in 1972, studied art history, Arabic and Persian and now lives in Barcelona, where he teaches Arabic at the Autonomous University of Barcelona, following long stays in the Middle East. He has been awarded many prizes, including the Prix Goncourt and the Leipzig Book Prize for European Understanding.

Languages: German/French
Translation: Holger Fock

Déserter has been translated by Holger Fock and Sabine Müller and published by Hanser Berlin.

Foto: Hentschel

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