Translated from the original German by Karen Leeder
Published by Seagull Books, Calcutta New York London 2022.
About the book: Monsters Like Us is the story of old friends Ruth and Viktor in the last days of Communist East Germany. They are inseparable since kindergarten, but are forced to go their different ways to escape their difficult childhood: Ruth into music and the life of a professional musician; Viktor into violence and a neo-Nazi gang. Monsters Like Us is a story of families, a story of abuse, a story about the search for redemption and the ways it takes shape over generations. More than anything, it is about the stories we tell ourselves about who we are, and who we want to be.
Nominating Library Comment: Ruth is a concert pianist and often booked and on the road. Privatly she suffers from a difficult relationship with her violent boyfriend Voitto. In throwbacks we learn about her childhood in the opencast mining area of Saxony during the time of the GDR, overshadowed by sexual abuse and violence. Only Viktor, her long time friend, knows what has happened to Ruth. After the peaceful revolution in 1989 he becomes a Skinhead `til he manage to change his mindset. Viktor moves to Paris and gets payrolled by a wealthy family. When Ruth arrives in Paris to play a gig we’ve come full circle. Monster is the first novel by Ulrike Almut Sandig. The slightly dark story makes one think about what abuse and violence causes in a child. In a way this novel is also a tribute to music as an universal cure. (Nominating Library Leipziger Stadtbibliotheken)