Me by my Side

Arthur, 22, quiet and intelligent, spends 26 months in prison. When he is finally released, he realises he won’t simply be given another chance. Without the right papers and references, he won’t be able to reintegrate into the real world. Together with his unconventional therapist Börd and his glamorous substitute mother Grazetta, he comes up with a clever plan. A small lie that could lead to absolute freedom ….

With humour and empathy, Birgit Birnbacher, winner of the Bachmann Prize, tells the story of how somebody like Arthur could end up in prison at all, and explores the big question of what constitutes a “useful” life.