Christoph Hein

Ms. Paula Trousseau - Novel

(German title: Frau Paula Trousseau)
ca. 536 pages
Christoph Hein
Foto: Christoph Hein
© Heike Steinweg

Born in 1944, Christoph Hein lives in Berlin.

He has written novels, novellas, short stories, plays, essays and children's books. As of 2002, Suhrkamp Verlag has acquired the world rights to the works of Christoph Hein. He has garnered numerous literary awards for his work. When the Pen centres in East and West merged, Christoph Hein was President of the German Pen Centre from 1998 to 2000.

Awards (selection):
2013: Stefan-Heym-Prize
2012: Uwe-Johnson-Prize
2010: Eichendorff-Literaturpreis
2008: Walter-Hasenclever-Literaturpreis
2004: Schiller-Gedächtnispreis des Landes Baden-Württemberg
2002: Österreichischer Staatspreis für Europäische Literatur
2000: Solothurner Literaturpreis
1998: Peter-Weiss-Preis der Stadt Bochum
1994: Bundesverdienstkreuz
1990: Erich-Fried-Preis (Wien)
1983: Deutscher Kritikerpreis

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English world rights (Metropolitan), French world rights (Métailié), Italy (e/o), Hungary (Europa)


How do we become – or not become – the people that we have become? This is the fundamental question addressed in Christoph Hein’s novel, a novel that consistently views things from the perspective of painter Paula Trousseau.

Sometimes availing herself of dynamic situational descriptions, sometimes employing a kind of fast-forward technique, Hein recounts the adventures of the self-assertion of a woman whose outlook and experiences cast a spell over the reader, who is then torn between sympathy and rejection.

When, in the novel's first pages, readers first hear about the painter, they are immediately told that she committed suicide in France in the year 2000. And they are able to follow her version of things from her diary entries: her view of the world, of art, of the relationship between the sexes and her experiences with men and women. How, against the will of her parents and her husband, she decides to study art – at the price of hardening her heart against everybody and everything. All her relationships with men are doomed to failure, those with women tend to be more constant but cannot prevent gray tones from dominating her pictures. Where does this indifference to other people and, in the final analysis, to herself, actually come from? Is her background responsible for this, or is it the political circumstances, the hierarchy of the sexes, the cultural situation? How do we become what we are?


»Frau Paula Trousseau is a courageous novel, beyond great gestures.« Süddeutsche Zeitung

»Christoph Hein’s new novel tells the life of an artist with an epic sweep but without losing sight of its central figure […] This is the story of successful emancipation and of the bitter price she had to pay to achieve it: her life. […] Frau Paula Trousseau is a tremendously rich book.« FR

Other publications

Trutz/Trutz (2017)

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France (Métailié)

Glückskind mit Vater/Portrait of a Son With Father (2016)

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Arabic world rights (Sefsafa), France (Métailié), Italy (e/o), Denmark (Gyldendal), Bulgaria (Atlantis), Estonia (Grenader)

Domestic Rights Sales: German Audiobook (DAV), German Entire Radio Reading (MDR)

Weiskerns Nachlass/Weiskern's Legacy (2011)

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France (Métailié)

In seiner frühen Kindheit ein Garten/In his early childhood, a garden (2005)

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English world rights (Metropolitan), France (Métailié), Italy (e/o), Denmark (Gyldendal)

Landnahme/Settlement (2004)

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Domestic Rights Sales: German Book Club (Bertelsmann), German Book Club Special Edition (Büchergilde Gutenberg)

Willenbrock/Willenbrock (2000)

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Von allem Anfang an/Von allem Anfang an (1997)

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French world rights (Métailié), Italy (e/o), Norway (Gyldendal Norsk), Korea (Thinking Tree)

Der fremde Freund. Drachenblut/The Distant Lover (1982)

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English world rights (Pantheon Books), Spanish world rights (Saymon), France (Métailié), Italy (e/o),Hungary (Magvetö), Bulgaria (Emas), Macedonia (Goten), Georgia (Ibis), Armenia (HGM "Areviq" Himnadram)