Here You May Walk in Circles

Following the suicide of his son and the death of his wife, ninety-one-year-old Johannes Kehr fakes dementia and moves into a care home for the elderly. Increasingly reluctant to interact with the outside world, this is an opportunity for him to break with the family for whom he considers himself a burden. Unlike most of the other residents, Kehr understands where he is and is aware of the reality of his aging. And then Annemarie, his first love, moves into the care home…

Zwicker’s debut is a beautifully controlled piece of writing and an exploration of human subjectivity in a group of people – the institutionalised aged – who are often marginalised and voiceless. The confusion of the residents, their circular conversations and monotonous movements, are contained within a sparse and elegant prose and carefully chosen details that illuminate the whole. Despite the subject matter (‘those who enter the care home never leave it alive,’ notes Kehr) the novel’s ingrained empathy with the fate of those at the end of their lives is ultimately uplifting.

Frédéric Zwicker was born in 1983 in Lausanne and carried out his civilian service in a nursing home. He studied German and has performed as a slammer, was a gag writer for Giacobbo/Müller, is lyricist and singer in the band Knuts Koffer, and works as a journalist, blogger and columnist. This is his first novel.

Carl Hanser Verlag

Vilshofener Str. 10

81679 München, Germany

Tel: +49 89 998 30 509


Contact: Friederike Barakat

Nagel & Kimche was founded in 1983 and quickly established itself as one of Switzerland’s leading publishers. Emphasis is placed on the work of contemporary Swiss authors. In 1998 Nagel & Kimche joined the Hanser group of publishers.

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