Winner of the German Book Prize, from the winner of the 2023 Georg Büchner Prize.
It is 1989, and a young literature student named Ed travels to the Baltic island of Hiddensee, a notorious destination for hippies, idealists, and those at odds with the East German state.
On Hiddensee, Ed joins the community of seasonal workers, led by the charismatic, enigmatic Kruso. At night, they secretly help the refugees who have come to the island seeking passage to the West. But Kruso is preoccupied by another kind of freedom – freedom of the mind.
As the wave of history washes over the German Democratic Republic, the friends’ grip on reality loosens and life on the island will never be the same.