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Beside Myself

Beside Myself

Sasha Marianna Salzmann

Translated by Imogen Taylor

Beside Myself is the disturbing and exhilarating story of a family across four generations. At its heart is one woman’s search for her twin brother. When Anton goes missing and the only clue is a postcard sent from Istanbul, Alissa leaves her life in Berlin to find him. Without her twin, the sharer of her memories and the mirror of her own self, Ali is lost.

In a city steeped in political and social changes, where you can buy gender-changing drugs on the street, Ali’s search—for her missing brother, for her identity—will take her on a journey for connection and belonging.

Beside Myself is a brilliant literary debut about belonging, about family and love, and about the enigmatic nature of identity.  



Sasha Marianna Salzmann
About the Author

Sasha Marianna Salzmann was born in Volgograd in 1985 and grew up in Moscow. In 1995 she emigrated with her family to Germany and studied literature, theatre and media at the University of Hildesheim. She has been awarded multiple accolades for her plays, and Beside Myselfwas shortlisted for the German Book Prize in 2017. Salzmann now teaches...

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About the Translator

Imogen Taylor is a translator who has lived in Berlin since 2001. Her translations include Promise Me You’ll Shoot Yourself by Florian Huber, Fear by Dirk Kurbjuweit and The Truth and Other Lies by Sasha Arango.

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Text publication date:
5 February 2019
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Praise for Sasha Marianna Salzmann
andBeside Myself

‘Salzmann thoughtfully and cleverly addresses the themes of memory, identity, and migration, asking if language, nationality, or gender are important for our self-definition.’

‘Sasha Marianna Salzmann’s debut novel comes straight from the gates like a raging bull…Beside Myself is fiction at its highest purpose. If we read to understand ours and others’ unbearable lightness—to try and make sense of our surroundings—this book is truly the contemporary counterpart to ideas on family, identity, time and place. It illuminates the gaps we previously thought were great divides, showing what more we can learn from each other.’

‘Beautifully written despite the darkness of its story and texture. There are hundreds of glimpses of worlds inside worlds…Beside Myself is both a cool thriller and a meditation on family.’ 

‘[A]s a work operating within the burgeoning mode of ‘identity’ it is exciting and enriching…Beside Myself is a book that requires work but it is work worth being lost in.’

‘[A]s a work operating within the burgeoning mode of ‘identity’ it is exciting and enriching…Beside Myself is a book that requires work but it is work worth being lost in.’

Beside Myself shifts through time and place, the domestic detective story opens into a much more ambitious speculative fiction that resists easy categorisation. Sasha Marianna Salzmann’s brisk storytelling builds into a sort of brilliant literary labyrinth, one where the sanctuary of belonging remains an elusive, transient and constantly evolving thing.’

‘Expertly translated from the original German, [Beside Myself] conjures up emotions, sights, sounds and tastes in breathtaking detail.’

‘The writing is skilful, vivid. You could reach out and touch these characters, you walk the streets of Istanbul as Salzmann brings them to life. Yes, it’s challenging, but with challenges come rewards.’

‘[A] fascinating first novel…Salzmann’s cool, disaffected narrative voice…is a wonder to behold.’

‘A compelling journey of discovery and change.’

Other editions ofBeside Myself
  • Beside Myself
    ISBN: 9781925626933
    5 February 2019
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