Here in Berlin
A NoveleBook - 2017
A New York Times Book Review Editor's Choice
" Here in Berlin is one of the most interesting new works of fiction I've read . . . The voices are remarkably distinct, and even with their linguistic mannerisms . . . mark them out as separate people . . . This novel] is simply very, very good." - The New York Times Book Review
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 Garc a 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 postapocalyptic, 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 checkered 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.
"Garcia's new novel is ingeniously structured, veering from poignant to shocking . . . Here in Berlin has echoes of W.G. Sebald, but its vivid, surprising images of wartime Berlin are Garcia's own." -BBC Culture, 1 of the 10 Best Books of 2017