Kathrin Schmidt

You’re Not Going to Die

Du stirbst nicht

You’re Not Going to Die

German Book Prize 2009
#4 on the SPIEGEL Bestseller list
English and Arabic sample translation available
Nominated for German-Italian-Translation Award 2013/14

Helene Wesendahl has no idea what has happened: she wakes up in hospital, has no control over her body, is unable to speak and has lost her memory. Through her eyes, we see the hospital ward, the other patients, the nursing staff and Helene’s own body, which has suddenly taken on a life of its own. And we experience her laborious rehabilitation, the reactions of her family, her husband’s selfless commitment – and the fragmentary return of her memory.

What comes back to her confronts Helene with a life in which she barely recognises herself and which calls into question much of what now seems so normal. She discovers inconsistencies in her biography, suppressed passions and commitments born out of necessity. When she realises her affections had begun to wander and that she was planning to leave the man who is now caring for her with such devotion, Helene’s world starts to fall apart.

Kathrin Schmidt enables the reader to feel what it’s like to lose one’s sense of orientation and ability to speak after a stroke, and she describes a road to recovery that takes two directions, backwards and forwards. This is a coming-of-age novel of a very unique kind: the reader is riveted by its inner dynamism and fascinated by the wholeheartedness with which the protagonist confronts both her past and present.



ISBN: 978-3-462-04098-2
release: 27. February 2009
352 pages, gebunden mit SU


19,95 €
0,00 sFr
20,60 €

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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)
Kapoks Schwestern (Kapok’s Sisters)
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)
Blinde Bienen (Blind Bees)
waschplatz der kühlen Dinge (laundry room of cold things)