On September 14 in Berlin, Z-Bar hosted the launch of the German translation of Jill Alexander Essbaum's debut novel, Hausfrau. Though my German language skills are still rough, the evening featured a bi-lingual Q&A session that included Jill reading from the English version of her book. I'm very excited to test my German skills reading my copy, published by Eichborn Verlag, a German publisher with a fantastic catalog of fiction.
I first met Jill through a poetry reading series we were both featured in many, many years ago. It was great to catch up with her and share in the joy of the first leg of her European book tour. The day following the reading, she was off to Zurich, and then to Sweden. The book is being translated into around 20 languages so far.
Time Magazine described Hausfrau as "Anna Karenina goes Fifty Shades with a side of Madame Bovary."
From the book's page at Penguin Random House:
"Intimate, intense, and written with the precision of a Swiss Army knife, Jill Alexander Essbaum's debut novel is an unforgettable story of marriage, fidelity, sex, morality, and most especially self. Navigating the lines between lust and love, guilt and shame, excuses and reasons, Anna Benz is an electrifying heroine whose passions and choices readers will debate with recognition and fury. Her story reveals, with honesty and great beauty, how we create ourselves and how we lose ourselves and the sometimes disastrous choices we make to find ourselves."
Z-Bar is a fantastic space for cultural events in Berlin. The bar has a back room that is like a small theater, where they host film and literary events. The day following Jill's book launch, Z-Bar held a screening of "The Dead Next Door," Sam Raimi's zombie film from 1988.
Look for Hausfrau in a bookstore near you!