Kathrin Schmidt

Kapok’s Sisters

Kapoks Schwestern

Kapok’s Sisters

English sample translation by Edna McCown available
Shortlisted for the Wilhelm Raabe Literature Award 2016
#1 SWR List of Best Books December 2016

Small relationships, big history: the personal fates of two families reflected in the mirror of collective experience

Kathrin Schmidt’s scope is significant: Starting from the tense relationships between the Kapok and Schaechter families, she writes about war, flight, separation, spying and new freedom – and about love, friendship, guilt and luck.

The Eintracht settlement, which used to be located directly along the Berlin Wall, remains secluded. For decades, Werner Kapok avoided his childhood home, into which his sister Renate has moved. Instead, he started a family of his own, only to quickly abandon it again. Later, he gave up his position as a professor and disappeared. Now he’s back, and his family history is catching up with him. For, the Schaechter sisters, Barbara and Claudia, with whom he grew up and shared his longings, still live in the building across the street. That each of them in her turn initiated him into love is something they have kept secret from one another to this day. Then Werner’s lost son also shows up, and nothing can remain as it was. Old secrets, forgotten passions and still-smoldering conflicts are forced to come to light.

Kathrin Schmidt tells a big story composed of small relationships, taking her readers to remote areas, times past and to Germany and Europe’s present. Artfully written, with a fine eye for detail, big emotions and base instincts.



ISBN: 978-3-462-04924-4
release: 08. September 2016
448 pages, gebunden mit SU


22,00 €
0,00 sFr
22,70 €
sample translation

About the Author

Kathrin Schmidt, born in Gotha in 1958, has worked as a psychologist, editor and social scientist. She has received numerous awards, including the 1993 Leonce and Lena Prize. Her novel Die Gunnar-Lennefsen-Expedition, published in 1998, was awarded the Heimito von Doderer Advancement Award and the 1998 Province of Carinthia Prize at the Ingeborg Bachmann Competition. In 2009, she received the SWR Top Ten List award and the German Book Prize for her novel Du stirbst nicht (You’re Not Going To Die). In 2016 she was nominated for the Wilhelm Raabe Prize and was awarded the Christine Lavant Prize. She lives in Berlin. Her work was translated into numerous languages.

Further titles by the author:
Go-In der Belladonnen (Go-In of the Belladonnas)
Blinde Bienen (Blind Bees)
Königs Kinder (King’s Childrend)
Finito. Schwamm drüber (Let Bygones Be Bygones)
Seebachs schwarze Katzen (Seebach’s Black Cats)
Die Gunnar-Lennefsen-Expedition (The Gunnar Lennefsen Expedition)
Du stirbst nicht (You’re Not Going to Die)
waschplatz der kühlen Dinge (laundry room of cold things)