Herzfaden / Heartstring
During a visit to a puppet theatre with her father, shortly after her parents have split up, a twelve-year-old girl discovers a small wooden door in the foyer, opens it, and, like Alice in Wonderland, finds herself in a fairyland full of old familiars including Hansel und Gretel, the Little Prince, and many others. But, most importantly, she meets Hatü here – the woman who once created all these marionettes and who has a big story to tell: the story of a magical theatre that was founded during the darkest period of Germany’s history, that offered new hope to old and young spectators when it was reborn after the war, and that still exists in Augsburg today.
From her childhood during the War, her youth between ruins with the newly awakening art and music scene, friendships and loves, to her grown-up life with kids – Hatü takes her visitor with her through important stages of her life that has always been influenced by her enthusiasm for the puppet theatre. Her great goal was to combine the old tradition of puppet theatre with new, contemporary content (she was the first to bring The Little Prince to the stage) and thus bring people joy and inspiration. Heartstring tells of the power of fantasy in dark times and the relevance of art in situations of crisis. A fascinating social and family novel – and an enchanting fairytale for grown-ups and young readers. Since his 1989 debut Ludwig muß sterben, the novelist Thomas Hettche has been a surprising literary voice in Germany. His bestseller, Pfaueninsel, won the Wilhelm Raabe Prize, Wolfgang Koeppen Prize, Solothurn Literature Prize and Bavarian Book Award, among other distinctions. His books (among them The Arbogast Case, published by FSG) have been translated into several languages, including Chinese, Danish, English, Estonian, French, Italian and Ukrainian.
Thomas Hettche has been an original voice in the German literary scene ever since his 1989 debut, Ludwig muß sterben. His bestseller Pfaueninsel won the Wilhelm Raabe Prize, the Wolfgang Koeppen Prize, the Solothurn Literature Prize and the Bavarian Book Award, among other distinctions. His books (among them The Arbogast Case, published by FSG) have been translated into several languages, including Chinese, Danish, English, Estonian, French, Italian and Ukrainian.