Nominated by:

Christchurch City Libraries, New Zealand

Free Library of Philadelphia, USA

Publisher of nominated edition:

Counterpoint Press, USA

Here in Berlin

Cristina García    

Here in Berlin is a portrait of a city through snapshots, an excavation of the stories and ghosts of contemporary Berlin—its complex, troubled past still pulsing in the air as it was during World War II.

Critically acclaimed novelist Cristina García brings the people of this famed city to life, their stories bristling with regret, desire, and longing. An unnamed Visitor travels to Berlin with a camera looking for reckonings of her own. The city itself is a character—vibrant and post apocalyptic, flat and featureless except for its rivers, its lakes, its legions of bicyclists.

Here in Berlin she encounters a people’s history: the Cuban teen taken as a POW on a German submarine only to return home to a family who doesn’t believe him; the young Jewish scholar hidden in a sarcophagus until safe passage to England is found; the female lawyer haunted by a childhood of deprivation in the bombed-out suburbs of Berlin who still defends those accused of war crimes; a young nurse with a chequered past who joins the Reich at a medical facility more intent to dispense with the wounded than to heal them; and the son of a zookeeper at the Berlin Zoo, fighting to keep the animals safe from both war and an increasingly starving populace.

A meditation on war and mystery, this an exciting new work by one of our most gifted novelists, one that seeks to align the stories of the past with the stories of the future.

About the author

Cristina García the author of seven novels, including: Dreaming in Cuban—a finalist for the National Book Award—The Agüero Sisters, Monkey Hunting, A Handbook to Luck, The Lady Matador’s Hotel, and King of Cuba. Her work has been translated into fourteen languages. García has edited anthologies, written children’s books, published poetry, and taught at universities nationwide. She lives in the San Francisco Bay Area.

Librarian’s comments

Here in Berlin is a portrait of a city through snapshots, an excavation of the stories and ghosts of contemporary Berlin – its complex, troubled pas still pulsing in the air. An unnamed visitor to Berlin collects and tells stories about the residents of the city she meets as she wanders the streets. Garcia’ novel is a beautiful, haunting read.

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