Sibylle Berg


All Books

Sex 2

The protagonist of Sibylle Berg‘s second novel wakes up in a nightmare. She can see through walls, and she can see inside people: their thoughts, their secrets, their despair, and their lies. The novel is like an experiment conducted in hell. How can one stand the truth? How can one endure seeing what, for very good reason, is hidden behind walls and cunning, behind politeness and furniture? (What is hidden behind furniture anyway?) All the protagonist can do is try to survive without losing her mind. She travels through an inferno of brutality, malice, helplessness, and grief.

Sex II is like a horror lm on speed that becomes absurdly comic through its apparent exaggerations - yet like all artworks it still falls short of reality. It also gave its author her reputation as one of the blackest and most brutally honest voices of contemporary literature. German critics hated the book, expressing outrage that a woman should dare to write in such a pitiless, almost obscenely masculine tone. But its primarily male readers love the book to this day.

"The author writes with impressive consistency about the impossibility of being happy. And she does it in beautiful, clear language."


"Finally, here’s the new young German literature we’ve been missing."