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Stephan Thome's novel "Border Walk"

Stephan Thome: Border Walk (Grenzgang)

Suhrkamp Verlag

English excerpt

The book: Every seven years, Bergenstadt stands on its head; its inhabitants celebrate Grenzgang, a folk festival in which people walk more than the borders of their community. Even in the pavilion at night people test the limits of how far one can go. Everyone is there, only two stand in the back: Thomas Weidmann and Kerstin Werner. He returned to Bergenstadt to teach at the local high school after his University career ended in failure. After the dissolution of her marriage, she became caretaker to her senile mother and is having trouble with her teenage son. The pair met each other once before at the last Grenzgang seven years prior. The memory of what happened back then evokes mixed feelings in both of them even now at this festival.
"Grenzgang" is the furious debut of a young author who takes on the whole of experience from the very beginning; steeped in suspense and surprising twists, Stephan Thome writes about a search for happiness that brings his characters from Berlin and Cologne to the Hessen countryside and eventually leads them to a swinger club on the outskirts of Frankfurt.
It quickly becomes clear how easily supposed absolutes are thrown to the wind and how shaky the foundations of self-conception are. And that, despite all of this, there is no alternative but to struggle for personal happiness.

The author: Stephan Thome, born 1972 in Biedenkopf(Hesse),studied Philosophy, Religious Rtudies and Sinology at the FU Berlin and various universities in China, Taiwan and Japan. Today he lives in Taipeh (Taiwan).
Photo: © Jürgen Bauer - let's talk european