European Book Club: The Have-Nots
Where: Goethe-Institut, 5 East 3rd Street (between Bowery & Second Avenue), New York, NY
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About the book:
On September 11, 2001, former couple Jakob and Isabelle meet at a party following a years-long separation, and this time the two upwardly mobile professionals decide to marry. When Jakob, a lawyer, is transferred to London to assume the job of a colleague killed in the World Trade Center, the pair are introduced to a world that should signal a period of fulfillment, but instead is scarred by dealings with drugs and British neighbors who turn out to be child abusers. As Jakob becomes increasingly fascinated with his boss, Isabelle, who runs a design firm, falls for a dealer named Jim. The life of these 30-something strivers takes an unexpected turn and the author describes their predicament in language that Friedmar Apel of the Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung calls “cool and elegant,” praising Hacker for the “sovereign mastery of her multi-perspective narrative technique.” He believes that with Die Habenichtse (The have-nots), Hacker once again has “proven herself the most talented author of her generation.”
About the author:
KATHARINA HACKER was born in 1967 in Frankfurt am Main and studied philosophy, history and Jewish studies in Freiburg and Jerusalem. For many years she worked in Israel and her 1997 short story, Tel Aviv, marked the appearance of social themes in her writing. Among her novels are Der Bademeister (2000) and Eine Art Liebe (2003). Hacker is the 2005/06 writer-in-residence for the town of Bergen. She has lived in Berlin since 1996.