Blaue Frau / Blue Woman
Antje Rávik Strubel
S. Fischer Verlag, August 2021
Do we have the right to remain silent? Adina was the last teenager to grow up in her village in the Czech Giant Mountains, and already as a child, longed to get away. While attending a language course in Berlin, she meets a photographer called Rickie, who gets her an internship in an up-and-coming arts and leisure centre in the Uckermark. Rendered invisible by a sexual assault which no one takes seriously, Adina gets stranded in Helsinki after wandering around aimlessly. In the hotel in which she is working illegally, she meets the Estonian Professor Leonides, a Member of the European Parliament, who falls in love with her. While he campaigns for human rights, Adina searches for a way out of her inner exile. Antje Rávik Strubel’s novel ‘Blue Woman’, tells in a stirring way of the unequal premises of love, Europe’s abysses and how we normalise the monstrous.
Antje Rávik Strubel has published several novels. Kältere Schichten der Luft (2007) was nominated for the Leipzig Book Fair Prize, Sturz der Tage in die Nacht(2011) was long-listed for the German Book Prize. Strubel was selected as the first Writer in Residence at the Helsinki Collegium for Advanced Studies. In 2019, she was awarded the Preis der Literaturhäuser. Her last publication was the episodic novel In den Wäldern des menschlichen Herzens, published in 2016. She lives in Potsdam.
You can read an English-language sample translation of the book, by Zaia Alexander, here