Inka Parei

© Henry Mex

Inka Parei, born in Frankfurt am Main in 1967, lives in Berlin.
Her first two novels, Die Schattenboxerin and Was Dunkelheit war, have been translated into French, Spanish, Swedish, Polish and Chinese, among other languages. In 2011 Seagull Books published Die Schattenboxerin as The Shadow-Boxing Woman, and will publish her new novel, Die Kältezentrale, as The Cooling Station, with both titles translated by Katy Derbyshire. In 2000 Inka Parei was awarded the Hans Erich Nossack Prize and in 2003 she received the Bachmann Prize.

Featured novel Die Kältezentrale (The Cooling Station)

Berlin, 2006: a man who worked as a mechanic for the East German party newspaper Neues Deutschland during the 1980s and later left the GDR receives a call from his ex-wife, Martha. She’s in a hospital, waiting for an exact diagnosis of her cancer. In an attempt to help her, the man has returned to Berlin to try and reconstruct the events of several crucial days that took place in early May 1986. Was a Ukrainian truck that Martha came into contact with contaminated with radiation? Why does the death of a former colleague, for which he has blamed himself for many years, suddenly appear dubious? The narrator soon begins to lose control of his life and drifts into a desperate search for direction, triggered by a rupture in his past with which he has never come to terms.

Please see below for sample translation 

© Katy Derbyshire, 2011.

German Book Office,
Dec 2, 2011, 7:38 AM