Stefanie Kremser

The Day I Learned to Fly

Der Tag, an dem ich fliegen lernte

The Day I Learned to Fly

English sample translation and synopsis available

“My mother, who has freckles and lives under the Milky Way: this is Aza. At night I whispered her name without being able to call her mother, or mum, and the more I repeated it, the more I believed I understood its meaning. Aza, she who has wings. Aza, who must have thought I was a bird, and perhaps hoped that one day I’d fly to that place to which she’d been drawn. Aza, who was wrong but somehow proved right in the end. I missed her even before I was separated from the umbilical cord, before I could have imagined what awaited me just four hours after I was born.”

Luisa’s life began with a bang: Her mother Aza threw her out of the window of the hospital in Munich where she was born and then disappeared without a word. Only thanks to an Englishman named Fergus her life didn’t end the same day it began. Her father Paul, helpless and heartbroken, has to nevertheless get on with his life now that he has a baby to take care of. Why did Aza do it? Where did she go? Those are questions he doesn’t dare to ask. Only as a growing Luisa begins to show an interest in her mother’s story and a long lost letter from Aza turns up, Paul realises that he needs to understand what happened in order to get closure for himself and his daughter.

Their journey of discovery will take them to Brazil, via a small Bavarian village where more than a century ago a group of villagers took off for America. They ended up in Brazil where they recreated their Bavarian village in the jungle stone by stone. And it’s from there that many years later a young woman named Aza departed for Germany in search of her roots. Now Paul and Luisa are going back to this Brazilian-Bavarian village to find some answers – and maybe even Aza.

A warm-hearted novel that explores the extraordinary consequences of emigration, the desire to find one’s own roots, and the persistence of family legends.


Kiepenheuer&Witsch

ISBN: 978-3-462-04705-9
release: 14. August 2014
304 pages, gebunden mit SU
Available

Price

Germany
19,99 €
Switzerland
0,00 sFr
Austria
20,60 €

Rights sold to

sample translation

About the Author

Stefanie Kremser, born in 1967, grew up in a German-Bolivian family in São Paulo, Brazil. At the age of twenty she moved to Munich and studied documentary film at the University of Television and Film (HFF). Her early documentaries were invited to several international film festivals and broadcasted on television. After becoming an author she was a fellow writer at Literarisches Colloquium Berlin, Ledig House New York and Casa Baldi/Villa Massimo in Olevano Romano. She lives as a screenwriter and novelist between Barcelona and Frankfurt and is married to the Catalan writer Jordi Puntí. The Day I Learned to Fly is her third novel. Her previous novels Postcard from Copacabana and The Dead Alleys of Barcelona have been translated into Spanish and Catalan.