Eva Demski

Dead Alive - A Novel

(German title: Scheintod)
ca. 399 pages
Eva Demski
Foto: Eva Demski
© Jürgen Bauer

Eva Demski, born in 1944 in Regensburg, now lives in Frankfurt on the Main. Her literary work has won her many awards. In 2008 Eva Demski was awarded the Frankfurt Anthology Prize.

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Previously published in the respective language / territory; rights available again: English world rights (Harper & Row), France (Albin Michel), Netherlands (De Boekerij), Sweden (Norstedts), Turkey (Can)

»A literary masterpiece.« Süddeutsche Zeitung

A new edition of the author’s most important novel


Dead Alive is a novel about love in a time of great political unrest. In sensitive but never sentimental prose, Eva Demski tells the story of a woman faced with the challenge of fathoming a life in death and of coming to terms with memories and doubts, mourning and loss in the process.

Frankfurt am Main, 1974. A lawyer is found dead in his chambers. The circumstances of his death remain a mystery. The police begin their investigation: He had been a lawyer for the leftist scene, his clientele included members of the RAF, rockers, junkies, and rent-boys.
His wife, who had been living apart from him for three years, begins to grapple with her husband again: with his work, his life – and their love. What does she really know about this man whom she used to love, whom she knew so well?
Soon the police begin to investigate the widow as well; she is suspected of being an accessory to political activities, even as she begins to receive coded messages from the political underground. She turns to his colleagues for help, emissaries from the demimonde, comrades and former revolutionaries, who lead her ever further down the rabbit hole. As she delves deeper into her dead husband’s secret life, she begins to realise that she never knew him at all.