Floating Bridges

A novel by Maike Wetzel 

Published by Schöffling & Co. Frankfurt/Main

Floating Bridges was selected as one of this autumn's recommendations by New Books in German and subsequently the book benefits from guaranteed funding towards the translation costs by the Goethe Institute.

Please check out the sample translation by Lyn Marven
Rights information: Marie Jansen

A Sunday on the lake. A woman sits on the bank and hugs her two small children. What was supposed to be a lovely weekend has turned into something else entirely. The sailboat has capsized and the father is missing. He cannot possibly have drowned in this harmless lake, can he? Surely, he’ll resurface and joke about his wife’s fears. As the emergency helicopter circles overhead, the narrator remembers her life with this man, her counterpart in a moving marriage.

With relentless candour and great linguistic precision, Maike Wetzel writes about going on after everything changes and finding solace in our own memories and in literature. In the tradition of Joan Didion, Maggie Nelson, Oceon Vuong, and Marguerite Duras, the author tells a very personal but also impressively universal tale of love, grief, and parenthood. Floating Bridges is a gripping farewell and a touchingly honest novel about surviving as a mother and writer.


A profoundly moving book. The word ‘autofiction’ does not at all do the work justice. What we are reading is the spiritual and literary examination of a terrible misfortune. As if out of the blue, a catastrophe shatters a life—and then, broken, it is pieced back together again and goes on. I am tremendously impressed with how Maike Wetzel tells this story

Daniel Kehlmann

The fragmented form of the novel blesses the book with a lightness, with an elegance, despite the heavy subject matter.

Berliner Zeitung, Thorsten Dönges

The novel is told in quiet tones and yet unfolds a tremendous force over its 200 or so pages. This is mainly due to Maike Wetzel's precise language and the images she finds for loss and grief.

MDR Kultur, Tino Dallmann

The novel carries a profound emotional weight, evoking a sense of deep sadness while gracefully avoiding any trace of self-pity or despair. As the narrative unfolds, a comforting resolution emerges, offering solace to both the author and the reader. Wetzel’s linguistic precision is striking, as is her raw honesty.

new books in German, Alexandra Roesch