Clemens Meyer’s dazzling, dizzying tour de force chronicles the growth of the sex industry in the former East Germany over the last 30 years. Translated by Katy Derbshire.

Meyer charts the rise and rise of the sex trade in the former GDR, from absolute prohibition to full legality in the 20 years following the country’s reunification. The focus is on a hooligan turned landlord, but we hear a chorus of other voices:  the prostitutes, their clients, small-time gangsters, an ex-jockey searching for his drug-addict daughter, a detective… Time shifts and stretches, people die and come to life again, as Meyer constantly challenges his readers to keep up.

2017 Man Booker International Prize
Published by
Fitzcarraldo Editions
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