Hollow Spaces

Hollow Spaces

237 pages


Genre: Literary Novel, Literature, Fiction
In Nora Schramm's quirky and clever debut novel, a family becomes a mirror of the bourgeois middle class

When Helene visits her parents shortly before Christmas, the rooms of the familiar house seem strangely hollow, as if they cannot be filled with life despite all her efforts. The reason for her visit is her parents' divorce. The daughter observes their every move with irritation, dissects them with wit and breaks them down into their individual parts, which come together to form a bourgeois family picture: Thomas, the father, is a doctor, but because he doesn't like human bodies, he prefers to advise a pharmaceutical company. His mother, Irene, studied to be a teacher, but after the birth of their only daughter, she decided to make home and hearth her field of work. And Helene herself is a successful artist with solo exhibitions in London and Copenhagen, an assistant and a gallerist. Now she is supposed to help them sort out their possessions as well as the emotional baggage of forty years of marriage. But then her mother falls down the stairs, breaks her hip and her childhood friend Molly, who was thought to have disappeared, suddenly reappears. 

With humour and strong images, Hollow Spaces tells of the family no longer as a place of psychological abysses, but as the smallest possible social unit, in which the baby boomers' history of advancement is just as recognisable as their children's class advancement - and where sofas, pots and shutters are not just everyday objects, but subtly provide information about values, convictions and certainties.

German title: Hohle Räume - Roman
ISBN: 978-3-7518-0959-7
Publisher: Matthes & Seitz Berlin
Publication date: 2024



Sample translation

English sample available

French sample available

Nora Schramm, born in 1993 in the Southern Palatinate, studied foreign languages and cultural studies in Giessen as well as theories and practices of professional writing in Cologne. Her work has been supported by several scholarships, including the Baldreit Scholarship Baden-Baden and the Spaltmaße Scholarship from the Jürgen Ponto Foundation as well as mentoring from the Literaturhaus Düsseldorf. She received the TEXTSTREICH competition prize for new poetry in 2022 for her poetry. Hohle Räume is her debut novel.