Distant Signs is an intimate portrait of two families spanning three generations amidst turbulent political change, behind and beyond the Berlin Wall. In 1960s East Germany, Margret, a professor's daughter from the city, meets and marries Hans, from a small village in the Thuringian forest. The couple struggle to contend with their different backgrounds, and the emotional scars they bear from childhood in the aftermath of war. As East German history gradually unravels, with collision of the personal and political, their two families' hidden truths are quietly revealed. An exquisitely written novel with strongly etched characters that stay with you long after the book is finished and an authentic portrayal of family life behind the iron curtain based on personal experience of the author who is East German and was 16 years old at the fall of the Berlin Wall. AUTHOR: Anne Richter was born in 1973 in Jena, in the former German Democratic Republic. Her degree in Romance languages and English included study periods in England, Italy and France. In 2011, Anne was nominated for the Ingeborg Bachmann Prize, a highly regarded German-language literary award. Her debut novel, Distant Signs, was published in Germany in 2013. Anne is currently writing her second novel.
Publisher: Neem Tree Press Limited
Number of pages: 226
Weight: 215 g
Dimensions: 216 x 135 x 20 mm
A fascinating and truly memorable read concentrating on one family, with the centre of the story resting in East Germany...This is such an incredibly intimate novel, my understanding altered as I read, as events became clear. I always know that I've thoroughly enjoyed a novel when I want to research the history and time it is set in. I just want to say that the translation is excellent, with a glossary of terms and literary references also available. 'Distant Signs' set my thoughts thrumming, it is so intriguing, compelling and beautifully readable too. -- Liz Robinson, Love Reading, UK "Distant Signs is a hugely thought provoking read, one which I think will linger on in my head long after I've finished reading it. It's hard to put into words precisely what it was about the writing that captured my attention the most, perhaps the gentle tone or maybe the seriousness of the topic being discussed, but it all culminates in the exploration of themes and characters that draws the reader in and holds them fast." -- @TheQuietKnitter "The author's in-depth detailed construction of character deserves to be savoured and not rushed. I was totally committed to both Hans and Margret, along with the supporting cast of characters who have such an impact on how the story progresses...This is a compelling, quiet and finely crafted novel. Astutely demonstrates the effects of war and the aftermath on the ordinary citizen." -- Random Things Through My Letterbox @annecater A subtle, thought-provoking book, dare I say, an elegant take on the post-war period in the GDR. -- Claire Storey Languages Blog Distant Signs is a different take on a much-written-about period of history: it was unexpected, delicate and extremely memorable.
At all times, the personal portraits are underscored by a history that is never intrusive but is ever present: to describe Distant Signs as understated would itself be an understatement, but this adds to the appeal of the book...I found the most moving part about the inter-generational narrative approach to be the way in which each member of the family keeps silent, guarding the pain of their own memories. This is, perhaps, the legacy of living under a system where expressing thoughts that diverged from official state policy or that put personal needs before the good of the state could have dire consequences... -- Dr Helen Vassallo, Translating Women Anne Richter writes elegantly and sympathetically about her characters and skilfully suggests the murky chill that pervades their environment...I look forward to reading Anne Richter's second novel. -- Historical Novel Society It is ultimately a deeply perceptive story of family relationships and how the strength of the bonds between mothers, daughters, fathers and sons can provide resilience against both political and personal turmoil. This was a thought-provoking read and I would recommend it to anyone looking for a more personal portrayal of life in the GDR. -- Amazon reviewer Distant Signs describes how fractures in private and societal life change people. Richter demonstrates her ability as a sensitive chronicler of turbulent times, an expressive writer who knows how to spin a fine web of unspoken feelings between the lines. -- GERMAN LITERATURE BLOG, BOOK TIP OF THE MONTH "The relationship between the two main characters is full of tension; in the so-called `classless society', it is the little barbs within the two families of contrasting backgrounds that carry particular weight." -- URSULA KRECHEL