22. ilb 07. - 17.09.2022

Petra Kasch

Petra Kasch was born in 1964 in Königs Wusterhausen, in Brandenburg. She has been writing since childhood. She studied literature and library and information science in Berlin and Leipzig. She has written short stories, collected in various anthologies, radio plays (for the programme »Ohrenbär« among others), as well as scripts and books for children and young adults.

Her first novel for young adults was »Verräter verdienen keine Chance« (2007, t: Traitors Don’t De – serve a Chance). The focus of this novel is on the emotional and social insecurities of adolescents in an increasingly complex social environment as shown through the every day life of the protagonist, Julian. Athough talented both in sports and science, Julian approaches the world from an angle of protest, refusal and little else. His father’s betrayal has hurt him at a deep level, causing him to withdraw from life and his fellow pupils. The only person who matters to him is his little bro ther, who knows nothing about the father who evaded his responsibilities by abandoning them. An encounter with Lena shakes Julian out of his rut: she provokes him through tests of courage, and finally puts not only the two of them in danger. Petra Kasch’s extreme frankness expressed in vivid language portrays the search to find a foothold in an ever-shifting world.

The publication of her most recent book for young adults, »Bye-bye, Berlin« (2009) coincides with the twentieth anniversary of the fall of the Berlin Wall. It tells the story of thirteen-year-old Nadja and her life in Berlin in the early 1990s, a time when everything is in turmoil, old values and structures losing their meaning overnight. Her father, who, before reunification, was an internationally active photographer, acclaimed for his critical treatment of the régime, is among the losers in the new Germany. Unlike Nadja’s mother, who works successfully in Hamburg, he has lost his way. He turns to alcohol to numb his insecurities and anxieties about the future, leaving the organisation of the family’s day to day survival to his daughter. Little time or opportunity is left for Nadja’s dream – a trip with her friend to the seashore, which has become for her a potent symbol both of security in a social sense and individual freedom. Yet it is Nadja who, with the support of her friends, makes an unusual fresh start.

Petra Kasch’s book for young adults, »Verräter verdienen keine Chance« (2007), was selected by Focus and Deutschlandfunk as one of the »Seven Best Children’s And Young Adult Books« for 2007. The author now lives in Berlin.

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