Patricia Paweletz

Meerjungfrauengesang

Parts of the life stories of these women, which span an entire century, rise like islands from the sea of the unconscious, thus contouring the traces that silence leaves behind.

The lifelines of four women from three generations of a German family are woven together. Clara, Helene, Gitte and Philippa all have a special relationship with water:

Clara is afraid of water and almost drowns in the North Sea on her engagement trip. Her daughter Gitte only comes alive when she and her family leave the post-war German narrowness over the Atlantic to Argentina. And for Gitte's daughter Philippa, water is the element in which she feels free until repressed family secrets emerge.

Philippa evokes the previously unheard voices of the individual women in her family. Among them is her great-aunt Helene, who takes in Gitte's child after the war when Clara wants to drown herself. Gitte is much closer connected with Helene than with her mother, and her father Richard also seems to have an illicit closeness with Helene.

Patricia Paweletz

© Picture People

© Picture People

Patricia Paweletz was born in Hamburg. She studied German and Theater Studies and Acting at the Max Reinhardt Seminar in Vienna. With her literary debut "Die Kirgisin" she was invited by the Lit Hamburg to the best reading at the Literaturhaus and to the Unesco in Paris. Inspired by her work as a systemic family therapist, she has written documentaries on twins and transgenerational issues. Tales of her have been published in anthologies by Rowohlt, Insel, Jüdischer Verlag/Suhrkamp and others. Meerjungfrauengesang is her second novel.