The German bestseller - a powerful and deeply affecting graphic memoir that explores identity, guilt and the meaning of home
*WINNER of the The National Book Critics Circle Award for Autobiography*
One of the Guardian's '50 Biggest Books of Autumn 2018'
The New York Times Critics' Top Books of 2018
Nora Krug grew up as a second-generation German after the end of the Second World War, struggling with a profound ambivalence towards her country's recent past. Travelling as a teenager, her accent alone evoked raw emotions in the people she met, an anger she understood, and shared.
Seventeen years after leaving Germany for the US, Nora Krug decided she couldn't know who she was without confronting where she'd come from. In Heimat, she documents her journey investigating the lives of her family members under the Nazi regime, visually charting her way back to a country still tainted by war. Beautifully illustrated and lyrically told, Heimat is a powerful meditation on the search for cultural identity, and the meaning of history and home.
Krug's new visual memoir is a mazy and ingenious reckoning with the past . . . She is a tenacious investigator, ferreting out stories from the wispiest hints - a rumor or a mysterious photograph.
Extraordinary . . . The curious appeal of Krug's graphic memoir is that it never fully loses itself in the act of storytelling but constantly stops to turn over and reassess the means at its disposal.
Bracing honesty ... the informal feel and arresting candor of a diary
One of the greatest books of the year.
As Krug wrestles on the page with the evasions and hard truths she encounters, and uses her illustrations to imagine difficult historical scenarios, she distils pain, hurt, confusion, empathy and ultimately peace into a powerful visual narrative.
A spectacular debut . . . enormously clever
A highly original and powerful graphic novel that works on many levels...an unflinching examination of what we mean when we think of identity, of history and home. The result is a book that is as informative as a history and as touching as a novel.
[Krug] is a tenacious investigator, ferreting out stories from the wispiest hints - a rumor or a mysterious photograph. . . . What Krug pursues is a better quality of guilt, a way of confronting the past without paralysis.
I was hugely taken by Nora Krug's Heimat, a beautifully produced and thoughtful piece of family history by a second generation German immigrant to the US.