Anthony Marra

The U.S. Embassy Literature Series at the English Theatre Berlin

in cooperation with Suhrkamp Verlag

A Constellation of Vital Phenomena – Die niedrigen Himmel (Suhrkamp Verlag, March 2014; transl. by Ulrich Blumenbach and Stefanie Jacobs)

Joanna Martin
will provide interpretation into German Sign Language.


Thursday, March 20, 2014, 20:00, Main Stage

Venue: English Theatre Berlin, Main Stage, Fidicinstr. 40, 10965 Berlin
Admission: 3 Euro / school groups free if they register
Book tickets: +49 – (0)30 – 691 12 11; by e-mail at

Veranstalter-LogosTwo doctors risk everything to save the life of a hunted child in this majestic debut about love, loss, and the unexpected ties that bind us together. “On the morning after the Feds burned down her house and took her father, Havaa woke from dreams of sea anemones.” Havaa, eight years old, hides in the woods and watches the blaze until her neighbor, Akhmed, discovers her sitting in the snow. Akhmed knows getting involved means risking his life, and there is no safe place to hide a child in a village where informers will do anything for a loaf of bread, but for reasons of his own, he sneaks her through the forest to the one place he thinks she might be safe: an abandoned hospital where the sole remaining doctor, Sonja Rabina, treats the wounded. Though Sonja protests that her hospital is not an orphanage, Akhmed convinces her to keep Havaa for a trial, and over the course of five extraordinary days, Sonja’s world will shift on its axis and reveal the intricate pattern of connections that weaves together the pasts of these three unlikely companions and unexpectedly decides their fate.

Anthony Marra is the New York Times bestselling author of a National Book Awards Longlist selection, “A Constellation of Vital Phenomena.” He is the winner of a Whiting Award, a Pushcart Prize, The Atlantic‘s Student Writing Contest, and the Narrative Prize and his work was anthologized in Best American Nonrequired Reading 2012. A graduate of the Iowa Writers’ Workshop and a former Stegner Fellow, he now teaches at Stanford University. He has lived and studied in Eastern Europe, and resides in Oakland, CA.