Border Crossing

grenzgang stephan thome
Suhrkamp Verlag
July 2009 / 454pp

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Protagonists Kerstin Werner and Thomas Weidmann are filled with doubts, indecision, and worries, a situation exacerbated by the fact that they are now in their forties. She is divorced, has a mother with Alzheimer’s and a problematic sixteen-year-old son, and is about to lose some of her income. He had been let go from a university position and has been teaching high school for some years now, having drifted away from his partner in Berlin and into a mid-life funk. They come respectively from Cologne and Berlin, and are now both living to live in Bergenstadt, a fictitious Hessian small town (in every sense). How they find their way to each other is what drives this accessible and satisfying read.

Thome has a sharp ear for dialogue, an eye for local colour, and a fine understanding of interpersonal psychology.

about the author

Stephan Thome was born in Hessen in 1972. He read philsophy, religious studies and sinology at university, both in Berlin and in China, Taiwan and Japan. He has been living in Taipai, Taiwan, since 2005. This is his first novel.

rights information

Suhrkamp Verlag
Lindenstr. 29-35
60325 Frankfurt am Main, Germany
Tel: +49 69 75 601 250
E-mail: or
Contact: Dr. Petra Hardt (USA), Nora Mercurio (UK)
– both for other countries

Suhrkamp Verlag was founded in 1950 by Peter Suhrkamp and directed for over forty years by Dr. Siegfried Unseld. The independent publishing company now includes Insel Verlag (founded in Leipzig in 1899), the Jüdischer Verlag (founded in Berlin in 1902), as well as the Deutscher Klassiker Verlag (established in 1981) and the newly founded Verlag der Weltreligionen (established in 2006). Suhrkamp focuses on both contemporary literature and the humanities. Its distinguished list includes leading writers from Germany, Switzerland and Austria, many of whom made their debuts with the firm, besides major international authors of both fiction and non-fiction, including several Nobel Prize winners.

translation assistance

Applications should be made to the Goethe-Institut.

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