Svenja Leiber

The Last Land - Novel

(German title: Das letzte Land)
ca. 320 pages
Svenja Leiber
Foto: Svenja Leiber
© Stefan Klüter

Svenja Leiber, born 1975 in Hamburg, grew up in northern Germany and lived in Saudi Arabia for a while. Today she lives with her husband and two children in Berlin.

In 2005 her short story collection Büchsenlicht was published, and in 2010 her novel Schipino. She has won several prizes including the Werner Bergengruen Prize in 2007, and the EHF Stipend of the Conrad Adenauer Stiftung in 2010. The Last Land is her first book with Suhrkamp.

Sold to

English world rights (Seagull), Spanish world rights (Malpaso), Italy (Keller Editore)

Domestic Rights Sales: German Audiobook (DAV)

»Music can do anything, it can heal or harm, just like us«


The beginning of the 20th century in northern Germany. Ruven Preuk, the youngest son of the village wainwright, has an extraordinary musical gift: he sees notes, and can play incredible melodies on his violin. This, however, does not only bring him admiration from the village where life is simple and tough.

Eventually even his father realizes there is nothing to be done with his son and, at wit's end, attempts to beat the notes out of him. In town Ruven studies with the Jewish violin teacher Goldbaum, and falls in love with his granddaughter Rahel as much as he does with his belief in a glowing future. Art means freedom and recognition, but the Nazis are already on the march. On the eve of his imminent breakthrough, the Second World War wrenches Germany into the abyss and Ruven must find his way anew, at the end of all melodies.

With her new book, Svenja Leiber offers us a true Bildungsroman: while an entire country collapses around him, against all odds one extraordinary musician follows his talent.


Selected Foreign Editions


Spanish edition released by Malpaso >>


»Svenja Leiber lets people experience justice, above all those who are helpless before themselves.«
From the laudatio on the occasion of Svenja Leiber being awarded the Werner Bergengruen Prize.


Book Trailer for Svenja Leiber's new novel The Last Land:

Other publications

Staub/Dust (2018)

Sold to:

English world rights (Seagull), Arabic world rights (Kalima)