Sebastian Polmans

Boy - Novel

(German title: Junge)
ca. 196 pages
Sebastian Polmans
Foto: Sebastian Polmans
© Jürgen Bauer

Sebastian Polmans was born in 1982 in Mönchengladbach. He has studied literature and music in Siegen, Hildesheim, and in Rome. He toured with the hip hop group Summsemann Quintett !!?!?, and together they released the album da in Europe and in Asia.

He is the recipient of numerous fellowships and was awarded the people’s choice prize at the 2010 Open Mike competition in Berlin.
Junge is his first novel.

Rights available

A single look from this young hero sends a tremor through the whole world

A dazzling, shimmering, feverish debut


At the German-Dutch border: On the fire watch tower at the edge of a military base, a young boy is watching the sun dapple the landscape; in the background the quiet hum of an old portable radio. But the peace is about to be broken, for something inside the boy is about to snap. His heart is racing, his ears are ringing. The world dissolves before his eyes.
The village below is like a no-man’s-land between the two borders. Ensconced in their quiet lives where religion and tradition hold sway, the villagers go about their day. They don’t notice the strange things that are happening all around them: herds of sheep fall down dead, a tower suddenly burst into flames. The boy, however, suffers attacks of dizziness and begins to shake uncontrollably: he sees children armed with rifles, totem poles, refugees cowering apprehensively in their camps. He understands that he is different and this gives him fresh courage. But no-one will listen to the freak. The village is slowly choking the life out of him. One night, while the images surge past, he plans his escape away to a place at the ends of the Earth, where a better life may await him.

»He got up and breathed on the window and the shrinking patch of condensation was like a hole through which he could now see into the garden. And although he was weak, although he could feel himself melting into the darkness, as if his body were no longer a distinct point in this endless black, he stood by the window and joyfully welcomed the sense that from now on it would be night for all eternity.«


Sebastian Polmans reads from his new novel Boy: