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Am Rand der Dächer
von Lorenz Just

Literature
In German

Am Rand der Dächer tells of Berlin-Mitte in the 90s through Andrej’s eyes, as he roams through this chaotic district with his brother Anton and his friend Simon. While the streets experience a new beginning with the zeal in all the previous owners, entrepreneurs, DJs, artists and adventure seekers flocking to them, the children slip into the periphery on the paths of their youth – and into ever more dangerous detours. When the city also begins to evict the squatters, whom the youths saw as something like kindred spirits, all they’re left with is the memory of their earlier freedom – a memory that they project onto the future, onto an America promoting itself with a promise of universal freedom.

In his debut novel, Lorenz Just interweaves his characters’ lives as they grow up with the rapid change that turned the Berlin-Mitte of reunification into the Berlin-Mitte of the 00s. Far from the lasting historical images of wild Berlin and the dream of those seeking self-realisation, he tells of that fragile freedom that shaped an entire generation of Mitte kids in the 90s.

Lorenz Just, born in Halle an der Saale in 1983, moved with his family to Berlin in 1988 and grew up there. After completing his degree in Islamic Studies in Halle and various stays abroad, he studied at the German Institute for Literature in Leipzig from 2011 to 2015. His young adult book Mohammed. Das unbekannte Leben des Propheten (Mohammed: The unknown life of the prophet, Gabriel Verlag) was published in 2015, and his acclaimed collection of short stories Der böse Mensch (Evil People) was published by DuMont in 2017. He lives in Berlin.

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