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.
About the Author
John E. Woods won both the 1981 American Book Award and PEN award for his translation of Schmidt's Evening Edged in Gold and has published a new translation of Thomas Mann's Buddenbrooks.
“A novel that works on many levels—the personal, the political, and even the mythological…[Adam and Evelyn] is rich in dialogue and in its examination of a contemporary fall from grace.” —Kirkus
“A madcap romantic caper…Adam and Evelyn is a love story that is complicated and fraught with distraction…Ingo Schulze peppers the narrative with witty dialogue that reads like a play and details that vividly evoke the Soviet era.” —Booklist