by Reimann, Brigitte, Jones, Lucy | East Germany, DDR
Published 02/02/2023 by Penguin Books Ltd (Penguin Classics) in the United Kingdom
Paperback | 144 pages
‘Spare, chilling, with wild flashes of vivid colour and the tempo of a thriller, Siblings jolts us into the beating heart of a family and post-war East Germany, conjuring the political dreams and divisions that make and ultimately break both’ Lisa Appignanesi
1960. The border between East and West Germany has closed. For Elisabeth – a young painter – the GDR is her generation’s chance to build a glorious, egalitarian socialist future.
For her brother Uli, it is a place of stricture and oppression. Separating them is the ever-wider chasm of the Party line; over them loom the twin spectres of opportunity and fear, and the shadow of their defector brother Konrad. In prose as bold as a scarlet paint stroke, Brigitte Reimann battles with the clash of idealism and suppression, familial loyalty, and desire.
The result is this ground-breaking classic of post-war East German literature. Translated by Lucy Jones