2021 Longlist

Beside Myself


Translated from the German by Imogen Taylor

2021 Longlist

Beside Myself is the disturbing and exhilarating story of a family across four generations. At its heart is one woman’s search for her twin brother. When Anton goes missing and the only clue is a postcard sent from Istanbul, Alissa leaves her life in Berlin to find him. Without her twin, the sharer of her memories and the mirror of her own self, Ali is lost. In a city steeped in political and social changes, where you can buy gender-changing drugs on the street, Ali’s search—for her missing brother, for her identity—will take her on a journey for connection and belonging. Beside Myself is a brilliant literary debut about belonging, about family and love, and about the enigmatic nature of identity.

About the Author

Sasha Marianna Salzmann was born in Volgograd in 1985 and grew up in Moscow. In 1995 she emigrated with her family to Germany and studied literature, theatre and media at the University of Hildesheim. She has been awarded multiple accolades for her plays, and Beside Myself was shortlisted for the German Book Prize in 2017. Salzmann now teaches creative writing in Germany, Turkey, Moldova, Spain, Italy and the USA.

Imogen Taylor is a translator who has lived in Berlin since 2001. Her translations include Promise Me You’ll Shoot Yourself by Florian Huber, Fear by Dirk Kurbjuweit and The Truth and Other Lies by Sasha Arango.

Librarian’s Comments

In this brilliant novel, the main character is looking for her twin brother, simultaneously traversing torn Istanbul and travelling across memories of four generations of her family. The shattering of her own identity and her sense of belonging goes hand in hand with the brokenness of the city as well as her memory. Also remarkable is the language of the novel which lets the text shine bright and leave a deep impression on the reader.


Marianna Salzmann


Text Publishing


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