Mon Chéri and Our Battered Souls

  • A heartwarming novel about an unusual self-discovery: quirky, clever, linguistically brilliant and wildly funny
  • Shortlisted for Austrian Book Prize 2022
  • Winner of the Bodensee Literary Award
  • English sample translation by Jamie Searle available 

Charly Benz has been stumbling through her life for 43 years without a plan and with plenty of baggage. She works in marketing for a Berlin vegan food company, subsists on burned croissants, and discusses her relationship problems – which consist of not having a relationship – with her only friend, Mr. Schabowski, a 60-year-old man who sorts through her mail and anxieties.

But then Mr. Schabowski receives a fatal diagnosis and, after a systemic family constellation ends in an embarrassing debacle, all of a sudden no less than three men are mucking up Charly’s life. She and Schabowski decide to tackle their problems proactively: they flee – specifically, to Bad Gastein, a once fashionable spa town where in a vacant turn-of-the-century hotel that once belonged to Charly's father, they discover that, while you can’t choose who you’re related to, you can choose your family.

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  • Publisher: Kiepenheuer&Witsch
  • Release: 10.03.2022
  • 512 pages
  • ISBN: 978-3-462-00119-8
Book Cover
Mon Chéri und unsere demolierten Seelen
Christian Geyr

Verena Roßbacher

Verena Roßbacher, born in 1979, grew up in Austria and Switzerland. She studied philosophy, German language and literature and theology in Zurich and at the German Institute for Literature in Leipzig. Ich war Diener im Hause Hobbs is her third novel published by Kiepenheuer & Witsch, after her debut Verlangen nach Drachen (“Desire for Dragons”), published in 2009 and Vom Schwätzen und Schlachten (“Small Talk and Skirmishes”), published in 2014.