Anna Katharina Hahn

Shorter Days - Novel

(German title: Kürzere Tage)
ca. 223 pages
Anna Katharina Hahn
Foto: Anna Katharina Hahn
© Heike Steinweg

Anna Katharina Hahn was born in 1970 and studied German and English literature, as well as Folklore in Hamburg. She lived in Berlin for several years and now lives and writes in Stuttgart.

Her previous works include the collection of stories Kavaliersdelikt, for which she was awarded the Clemens Brentano Prize in 2005, as well as the novel Kürzere Tage, which was longlisted for the German Book Prize in 2009. In 2010, Anna Katharina Hahn has been awarded with the Heimito von Doderer Literary Award.

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English world rights digital (Frisch & Co.), Finland (Lurra)

Domestic Rights Sales: German Stage Adaptation (Staatstheater Stuttgart)

Longlisted for the German Book Prize 2009


With strong words, Shorter Days takes stock and provides a melancholic reckoning of a society in which all values have become suspect. Affluence and despair, eurythmics and hysteria, parental bliss and parental woes.

Marco lives in a high-rise building on Hauptstraße. From here it’s not far to Olgaeck, and behind Olgaeck lies Constantinstraße, where the old buildings are all classified as historical landmarks and the apples at the Turkish grocery store are more expensive than the ones at the main train station. This is where the social climbers, the mother figures and their wellmannered children live. It’s a place where everything seems in order – at least when one doesn’t have to rush from the supermarket to the office and from the office to the Kindergarten, as Leonie does, and when one isn’t driven to despair by a double life as career woman and mother. Judith finds support in anthroposophy. She devotedly maintains a cabinet in the apartment for her children, with seasonal flowers and natural materials to bring them closer to nature. At night, only the pills help allay her fears. The old Posselts live next door. They have managed what the generation of their grandchildren only dreams about - namely, to stay together for the rest of their lives. Then Marco sets the neighborhood into turmoil.


»Stuttgart, such an unloved city in the rest of Germany, makes for an excitingly good social novel. The terrain provides a refreshing view without limit to one milieu or one district. Perhaps that is what could make the novel with its buildup toward crisis even more interesting. How panic-proof is this world with its elites?« FAZ

»The focus, in particular, on the seemingly everyday quality of life, as well as the fact that the plot takes place over only a few days – which lead directly to disaster - are what make Shorter Days so captivating, as well as shocking.« FAZ

»With descriptive intensity, the author tells the story of that phase of life, that many regard as the best: the years between 30 and 40, when one is still young and already even fairly settled [...] She sees it all, has the ability to formulate it, and drives it home with sarcasm. She does show solidarity with her characters, regardless of what mischief they get into. Shorter Days begins like a family play and broadens to world-class theater in a most cramped space [...] The terrific and lovingly told novel is a sort of exorcism of women’s fears; grotesquely painted on the wall, they will be revealed to be illusions.« SZ

Other publications

Aus und davon/Over and Gone (2020)

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Domestic Rights Sales: German Audio Book (Fine Voices), German Book Club (Büchergilde Gutenberg)

Das Kleid meiner Mutter/My Mother's Dress (2016)

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Arabic world rights (Sefsafa)

Am Schwarzen Berg/Black Mountain Side (2012)

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Domestic Rights Sales: German Audiobook (Griot)