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Thank You For This Life

Thank You For This Life

By Sibylle Berg, Translated by Ben Knight

“Thank You For This Life” is an angry, electrifying novel that spans post-war German history, tracks the extraordinary, humble life of Toto, an orphan of ambiguous gender, and offers a pitiless, black-comic view of modern society.



September 2014

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About This Book

Toto is a miracle, an orphan of ambiguous gender – conceived on a vodka-fuelled night somewhere in a dead town in a cold summer in East Germany. Mother disappeared in a cloud of alcohol, though not before giving in and ticking the box marked “male”. That left Toto out in the world: too fat, too tall, too pure, a gangling giant child who smells of milk. He finds his way to the West, where capitalism is destroying what socialism only allowed to rot. He has two things: one talent, which has a disturbing effect on people, and one love: Kasimir, another orphan, who hates Toto with a hatred that consumes everything.

Thank You For This Life is a very angry, very funny novel that tears apart all three Germanys - East, West, and unified - and offers a pitiless vision of the future of western Europe.


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Author Information

Sibylle Berg is an award-winning novelist, playwright, stage director, and columnist.

Ben Knight is a journalist and translator currently living in Berlin.


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