Peirene Press – 143 pages
A woman approaching the ‘invisible years’ of middle age abandons her failing writing career to retrain as a chiropodist in the East Berlin suburb of Marzahn, once the GDR’s largest prefabricated housing estate. From her intimate vantage point at the foot of the clinic chair, she observes her clients and co-workers, listening to their stories with empathy and curiosity.
Part memoir, part collective history, Katja Oskamp’s love letter to the inhabitants of Marzahn is a tender reflection on life’s progression and our ability to forge connections in the unlikeliest of places. Each person’s story stands alone as a beautifully crafted vignette, but together they form a portrait of a community.
Katja Oskamp was born in 1970 in Leipzig and grew up in Berlin. After completing her degree in theatre studies, she worked as a playwright at the Volkstheater Rostock and went to study at the German Literature Institute in Leipzig. Marzahn Mon Amour with the subtitle ‚A Chiropodist‘s Tales‚, was selected for the ‚Berlin Reads One Book‚ campaign and thus literally became the talk of the town. She is a member of PEN Centre Germany. Marzahn Mon Amour is her first work to be translated into English.