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Die Heimkehr

The Homecoming

Published by Diogenes as Die Heimkehr
Original Title:

As a child, Peter Debauer, the narrator of the novel, spends his holidays at his grandparents' house in Switzerland. In the evening, he sits with them at the table and reads, while they edit and correct the magazine novels with which they earn their money. Since paper is very expensive in the 1950s, his grandparents let him use the back of the edited manuscripts to scribble on, but tell him never to turn them over and read the text. One day, he simply cannot resist and turns the page - and reads about the odyssey of a German soldier to Siberia, his eventual return and subsequent search for his wife. Finally the soldier locates the city and the house in which she lives, but when his wife opens the door, another man is standing beside her, while she is holding his child on her arm. Then the soldier… But Peter Debauer cannot find out what happens next. He has already thrown away the original manuscripts – on which he has scribbled and drawn – which contained the end of the novel. Years later he recalls the story and wants to know how it ends. The search for the end of the story turns into the search for its author – a man who has repeatedly been able to hide his tracks, who has assumed a number of different identities, pursued various careers and who has developed a rather peculiar relationship to the horrors of the twentieth century. During his search, Peter Debauer encounters himself. In his attempt to discover the end of the soldier's story, he embarks on his own odyssey: the search for his origins and his return, and for the woman he loves.


General Fiction
384 pages
2006

978-3-257-06510-7

World rights are handled by Diogenes

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»It is effectively a glorious return of an old theme and its variations: the relation between a son and an absent father.«
Le Monde, Paris

»Fueled by a mysery, ›Homecoming‹ is a powerful meditation on justice, history and the nature of evil. [...] Schlink has written another lean, meticulously structured, disquieting thought-provoker.«

Los Angeles Times
»Beguiling ... Despite its intricate, meze-like progression, ›Homecoming‹ has surprising narrative thrust.«
The Economist, London
»Sensitive and disturbing ... The reader's mind opens to the story like a plant unfurling its leaves to the sun.«
The New York Times Book Review
»Schlink has put together a clever package and skilfully guides the reader through modern German history.«
The Sunday Telegraph, London

»Impressive [...] Schlink has always carried the precision of an advocate summing up before the court of history. His novels are laid out with a clarity of purpose; they are a faithful reconstruction of the human predicament.«

The Guardian, London
»It is effectively a glorious return of an old theme and its variations: the relation between a son and an absent father.«
Le Monde, Paris

»Fueled by a mysery, ›Homecoming‹ is a powerful meditation on justice, history and the nature of evil. [...] Schlink has written another lean, meticulously structured, disquieting thought-provoker.«

Los Angeles Times
»Beguiling ... Despite its intricate, meze-like progression, ›Homecoming‹ has surprising narrative thrust.«
The Economist, London
»Sensitive and disturbing ... The reader's mind opens to the story like a plant unfurling its leaves to the sun.«
The New York Times Book Review
»Schlink has put together a clever package and skilfully guides the reader through modern German history.«
The Sunday Telegraph, London

»Impressive [...] Schlink has always carried the precision of an advocate summing up before the court of history. His novels are laid out with a clarity of purpose; they are a faithful reconstruction of the human predicament.«

The Guardian, London
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