"Jenny Erpenbeck has written the book of the hour. … It is a sorrowful stroke of luck for German literature that Erpenbeck … has given us." - Der Spiegel
"Yet this novel is far more than a presentation of love, shame, and cluelessness. Jenny Erpenbeck does not veer away from the conflicts that occur when cultures confront one another." - Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung
"Jenny Erpenbeck is a rare case of the moralistic novelist who is a true storyteller. She is a solid poetical architect of our world (...)" - Die Welt
How can you bear the passing of time when you are forced to do nothing? How can you cope with losing loved ones? Who passes on your legacy?
Richard, a retired professor, has a chance encounter with asylum seekers in the middle of Berlin, and this gives him the idea of searching for answers to his questions where no one else would look: among those young refugees from Africa who have been stranded in Berlin and condemned to wait for years.
And suddenly this world looks at him, the man living in Old Europe, and might well know better than he himself who he really is.
In her inimitable way, Jenny Erpenbeck has told a story of looking the other way and taking a look, of death and war, of perpetual waiting and of everything that is lying hidden beneath the surface.