23. ilb 06. – 16.09.2023

Eva Sichelschmidt

Portrait Eva Sichelschmidt
© Hartwig Klappert

Eva Sichelschmidt was born in 1970 in Wuppertal. She studied fashion design in Berlin and worked as a costume designer for movies and operas during the ‘90s. She has been a self-employed entrepreneur since 1997, and made a name for herself as the owner of »Whisky & Cigars« in Berlin-Mitte, where she also hosted a literary salon with readings, discussions and presentations featuring Katja Lange-Müller, Martin Mosebach and the late Alan Sillitoe, among others. Sichelschmidt is also the author of Fiona Bennett’s biography »Vom Locken der Federn« (2013; tr. The temptation of feathers), which tells of the famous milliner’s 25 years in the profession, myriad encounters with the stars and unconventional way of life.

Eva Sichelschmidt’s first novel »Die Ruhe weg« (2017; tr. The epitomy of calm) describes a couple’s midlife crisis. Initially 49-year-old Marlies moved to Berlin to live life to the full. Now, though, her surroundings have become bourgeois and joyless and she feels restless. Her husband used to play in a rock band but now has to earn a living by working as a session guitarist on a musical. When an affair crashes and burns, Marlies decides to leave it all behind and to start afresh in Italy. Sichelschmidt’s book is more than just a tale of a midlife crisis. It pointedly and humorously takes on the areas of Berlin which were still young and cool in the ‘90s, giving them a rather unflattering review; the creatives who moved in back then have since become stuck in their own middle-class conflicts. Critics have praised this aspect of the novel, among others. For example, Claudia von Duehren (»BZ«) writes, »This book has the potential to become the Bible of the cappuccino moms on Kollwitzplatz.«

Her novel “Bis wieder einer weint” tells the story of Wilhelm and Inga. They are a dream couple when they meet in the 1950s, but shortly after the birth of their second child, Inga dies of leukemia. The younger daughter is given to her grandparents, the older one stays with her father. In order to escape the constraints of family and church, the father builds a house miles away from the nearest neighbor. »A saga of the German Ruhr district, that, despite the panoramic scope, manages to get very close to its characters.« [WAZ]

Eva Sichelschmidt lives in Berlin and Rom.