Everyday Life, Suspended

  • No need to ask your doctor or pharmacist. This book is more healing than many medications.” – Daniela Dröscher
  • For readers of Maggie Nelson and Caroline Wahl
  • English sample translation by Lucy Jones available
  • Recommended for translation by New Books in German

In Everyday Life, Suspended, Paula Fürstenberg writes with warmth, vigor, and wit about a special friendship that gets put to the test. She writes about what it means not to function in a world where everything has to function; about the body and how we deal with it; about the power of words; and about where empathy begins – and where it has to end.

They have been best friends since school. Now, in their early thirties, they share an apartment. Max is an architect; she a writer who has been chronically ill since childhood. Regularly plagued by violent bouts of vertigo, she is dependent on Max. He is the healthy one, she the sick one. That is how it has always been. But then Max learns that his uncle has died and darkness begins to grow inside him. He has to go to the hospital. All of a sudden, everything is teetering.

What helps the writer in the midst of her emerging friendship woes is writing: the attempt to impose order on the past. So she tells her story – and thus Max’s too – from their childhood in the East after the fall of the Berlin Wall to the faltering present. She reflects on the social conditions that have made them who they are, on being ill – and on the language of bodies.

But thinking and writing alone are not enough for her to come to grips with her troubles. To do that, she has to get up and go dancing, let go, and forget everything. Just a few hours, a few days. And then, suddenly, Max is back again, and the terms of their friendship have to be determined anew.

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  • Publisher: Kiepenheuer&Witsch
  • Release: 08.02.2024
  • 320 pages
  • ISBN: 978-3-462-00336-9
Jonas Ludwig Walter

Paula Fürstenberg

Paula Fürstenberg, born in 1987, lives in Berlin. Her debut novel The Family of Winged Tigers was published in 2016 and translated into French. She has been awarded numerous fellowships for her work. Everyday Life, Suspended is her second novel.

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