From one of Germany’s finest writers comes a wonderfully light and humorous novel set during the tumultuous events of 1989. A wobbling Hungary has just opened its borders to Austria enabling a flood of refugees to escape, the Berlin Wall is on the cusp of falling, and, yet, seemingly sheltered from this onrushing new world in their idyllic East German home are Adam, a tailor and dressmaker who enjoys a life of dressing (and undressing) his appreciative clientele, and Evelyn, Adam’s restless girlfriend.
Having just unexpectedly quit her job as a waitress, Evelyn returns home one day to find Adam sleeping with one of his customers. Calmly, but quickly, Evelyn packs her belongings and runs off to Hungary on a vacation she had originally planned to take with Adam. Accompanying Evelyn on her journey is her friend Simone and Michael, Simone’s West German cousin. In hot pursuit, however, to everyone’s surprise or dismay, is Adam. Following the group in his family’s rickety 1961 Communist-made automobile, Adam chases after Evelyn, banishing himself from his Garden of Eden as she pursues her very own idea of heaven. As Adam and Evelyn are swept out on a Western tide of new freedoms—helping refugees and helping themselves to impetuous trysts with others along the way—they find themselves forced to adjust to life in a world forever changed. Paradise regained? Perhaps not.
Upending our expectations from the start, Adam and Evelyn is a deceptively simple love story that will enthrall longtime readers and those new to the delights of Ingo Schulze’s stories alike.
Ingo Schulze was born in Dresden in 1962 and studied classical philology at the University of Jena. His first book, 33 Moments of Happiness, won two prestigious German literary awards, the Alfred Döblin Prize and the Ernst Willner Prize for Literature. In 2007 he was awarded both the Leipzig Book Fair Prize and the Thuringia Literature Prize. He is a member of the German Academy for Language and Literature and lives in Berlin.