The Thunderstorm Swimmer
A story that is deeply intertwined with the historical events of the 20th century – the Holocaust, the exile, the resistance during World War II, and the German Democratic Republic. In her latest novel, THE THUNDERSTORM SWIMMER, Franziska Hauser explores the gripping history of her own family. The Hirsch family was persecuted and they were resistance fighters, opportunists, and artists. One century of German history shaped them and they helped shaping it. You could not be thin-skinned, as you had to save your own skin. Luckily, Tamara had never been thin-skinned. Instead, she sought adventure, challenge, and risk. But others were destroyed by the family; something Tamara cannot forgive. In one of the two storylines heading toward each other from opposite directions, Tamara Hirsch tells her personal story - we meet her at the age of around 60 and follow her into her past. In the other storyline, the history of the Hirsch family is told in chronological order, starting at the turn of the century, in 1900. The two storylines meet in the middle. On our journey into the past, we recognize the reasons for the current behavior of the characters; the reasons for their quirks, obsessions, and personal peculiarities. A look back as an instrument to develop recognition and understanding.
Franziska Hauser tells the life story of charmingly obstinate Tamara Hirsch in an impressive, poetic, and powerful way – and with it the story of her own family, which is a story of political and personal pitfalls that will take the readers’ breath away. And it all starts with these sentences and one question:
»I blow my cigarette smoke into the sky above the porch. A split second feels like eternity. As if I’ve been standing here for a very long time. It’s like waking up without having slept. Why have I become what I never wanted to be?«