Marzahn Mon Amour, Katja Oskamp ( paperback Feb 2022)
A RADIO 4 BOOK AT BEDTIME - WINNER OF THE INTERNATIONAL DUBLIN LITERARY AWARD 2023
I really enjoyed this quirky little insight into the life of personal service - probably relatable for a range of doctors, therapists and beauty providers. Translated from German.
A woman approaching the 'invisible years' of middle age abandons her failing writing career to retrain as a chiropodist in the suburb of Marzahn, once the GDR's largest prefabricated housing estate, on the outskirts of Berlin. From her intimate vantage point at the foot of the clinic chair, she keenly observes her clients and co-workers, delving into their personal histories with all their quirks and vulnerabilities. Each story stands alone as a beautifully crafted vignette, told with humour and poignancy; together they form a nuanced and tender portrait of a community.
Part memoir, part collective history, Katja Oskamp's love letter to the inhabitants of Marzahn is a stunning reflection on life's progression and our ability to forge connections in the unlikeliest of places.