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A soundproof room. Outside the big city. Osman Engels practices the cello. He plays against invisible obstacles that lie somewhere in his past and which he can avoid better on the soccer field. In his world, music has long replaced words. He cannot listen well himself, cannot hold on to anything, and see poorly without contact lenses. When he listens to a recording device found by chance, he becomes an ear witness of a relationship that is noisy in a completely different way. Meanwhile, his roommate Luise is studying for her exam in the next room, sometimes they smoke together at the open window, cook garlic noodles, and bring old glass to the container. They get along without really touching each other, because they are only just beginning to love each other when his Turkish father, also a musician, breaks his wrist and Aunt Elide, his foster mother, suddenly wants to go to Paris after almost twenty years in Germany , Osman is forced to clean up a few things, to ask a few questions. The novel tells of a young man whose eyes and ears are opened, and of a woman who lives in silence. It's about father, mother and sign language and the touching power of music.
Review note on Deutschlandfunk, March 29, 2019
Reviewer Cornelius Wüllenkemper discovers alternative approaches to the world and an original literary view of reality in Katharina Mevissen's debut novel. Wüllenkemper finds new and exciting how the author addresses relationships beyond language by introducing a lazy cellist, two sign speakers and his idiosyncratic communicating aunt as characters and allowing them to come into contact with one another. According to the reviewer, not only does the text bravely and skillfully undermine expectations, but Mevissen also approaches the subject of non-verbal communication and the representation of underrepresented literary impressions for Wüllenkemper.
Review note on Die Tageszeitung, March 20, 2019
Katrin Bettina Müller developed a lot of sympathy for the debut novel by Katharina Mevissen. How the author tells of a young cellist who fantasizes himself into the world of a strange woman using an acoustic find, flees from the relationship with his own father, Müller likes it because the author knows how to write humorously and without pathos. Above all, however, according to Müller, Mevissen creates spaces for the reader that enable him to be close to the characters. Müller finds a book that testifies to the love of the written and spoken word, sounds and gestures.
Review note on Frankfurter Rundschau, February 23, 2019
Cornelia Geißler is completely infatuated by Katharina Mevissen's novel. According to the reviewer, the story of a Turkish cellist and his deep love for music turns out to be a skilfully composed piece about language and speechlessness and the difficulties of German for Turkish native speakers. Geißler is also surprised by Mevissen's ability to translate what is actually only audible into writing and a rhythmically multi-faceted language. A complex composition for chamber orchestra, says Geißler.
Review note on Süddeutsche Zeitung, February 13, 2019
Ekaterina Kel sees Katharina Mevissen's debut as a universalistic novel that celebrates the individual. According to Kel, the author skilfully captures the subject of problematic communication and overcoming it in the fate of two young people, a cello student of Turkish origin and a deaf person. Profound, with playful language and enriched with charming gaps and branches, Mevissen tells, according to Kel, not least of all freshly about migrant identities.Read the review at buecher.de
Review note on Deutschlandfunk Kultur, February 8, 2019
Katharina Mevissen, born in 1991, has presented a remarkable debut novel with "I can hear you", says Anne Kohlick. The story of the "sympathetically screwed up" Osman, who grew up with his aunt in the Ruhr area and then moved into a shared apartment in Hamburg, who found a lost dictation machine, convinced the reviewer with his coherent leitmotif about the complex of acoustic, from omnipresent music to success Failure of human communication. A "strong and at the same time quiet book," says Kohlick.
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