> Skip to content
  • Published: 19 November 2019
  • ISBN: 9780141980102
  • Imprint: Penguin Press
  • Format: Paperback
  • Pages: 288
  • RRP: $29.99

Heimat

A German Family Album




A powerful and deeply affecting graphic memoir that explores identity, guilt and the meaning of home for a postwar German

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.

  • Published: 19 November 2019
  • ISBN: 9780141980102
  • Imprint: Penguin Press
  • Format: Paperback
  • Pages: 288
  • RRP: $29.99

Also by Nora Krug

See all

Praise for Heimat

Heimat is an astoundingly honest book that conducts a devastating - and irresistible - investigation into one family's struggle with the forces of history. I could not stop reading it and when I was done I could not stop thinking about it. By going so deeply into her family's history, Krug has in some ways written about us all

Sebastian Junger, author of The Perfect Storm

Nora Krug has created a beautiful visual memoir of a horrific time in history. A time that torments us to this day. Asking questions and searching for the truth, she will not turn away from the legacy of her family and her country. She asks the question of how any of us survive our family history. Ultimately, the only course is not to veil the answers

Maira Kalman, American illustrator, artist and writer

A page-turning scrapbook/collage of memory, meaning and accountability, Ms. Krug draws the reader through her family history with the directness of imagery, handwriting and, ultimately, a disquieting direness that has echoes in our American life, right now. Heimat is valuable, readable and, needless to say, highly recommended

Chris Ware, author of Building Stories

To belong to a place is not to be able to choose what it takes from you. But we can choose what we take from it. Nora Krug takes from her German homeland, and then gives to us, a sense of what it is like to be German today, and a guide to how a reckoning with the past can begin

Timothy Snyder, author of On Tyranny and Black Earth

As the Jewish heir of grandparents who themselves had to flee the upsurge of fascism in their German homelands, I found granddaughter Nora Krug's heartrending investigation of her own family's painstakingly occluded history through those years especially moving. But as an American living through these, our very own years of a seemingly inexorable drift into one's still not quite sure what, I found Krug's achingly realized graphic memoir downright unsettling, for what will our own grandchildren one day make of us and our own everyday compromises and failures to attend?

Lawrence Weschler, author of Calamities of Exile and A Miracle, A Universe: Settling Accounts with Torturers

Heimat is a compelling and beautifully crafted graphic memoir. Holding this book, and leafing through its pages, rich with photographs, handwritten letters and exquisite drawings, you feel as if if the past is reaching out and grabbing you. It is an exploration of legacy and memory, the things we inherit, the stories we pass on and the strange power the past can hold over us. I loved it

Isabel Greenberg, author of The Encyclopedia of Early Earth

Nora Krug's book Heimat is a heart-wrenching, suspenseful and fascinating odyssey that straddles, and seeks to uncover, an uncharted, inaccessible, unfathomable past. It is a kaleidoscope of interrupted lives, leading inexorably to its ultimate conclusion. I couldn't stop reading it

Hava Beller, Director of 'The Restless Conscience'

Bracing honesty ... the informal feel and arresting candor of a diary

Françoise Mouly, New Yorker

Krug probes her family's actions in Nazi Germany, conducting interviews and roaming archives and flea markets. She confronts past and present in a book that's been praised for its invention and bravery.

The Guardian, 'The 50 biggest books of autumn 2018'

One of the greatest books of the year.

Anne-Dore Krohn, literary critic at RBB Kulturradio

Nora Krug created something completely new by inventing a new medium. (...) And with every new form of visual representation she uses, she is able to gain a new perspective on herself and on her history.

Ijoma Mangold, literary critic at Die Zeit

A spectacular debut . . . enormously clever

Denis Scheck, German literary critic

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.

The Guardian

Remarkable

The Observer

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.

The New York Times

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.

The Financial Times

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.

The Times

An amazing look into the erasure of her grandparents generation and their involvement in Nazi Germany . . . the reader really feels Krug's fear and the tension that builds as she must will herself to peel back the layers of history, and unearth a truth that she might not be ready for.

Gosh! Comics

[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.

Parul Sehgal, The New York Times, 'Top Books of 2018'

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.

Tim Martin, The Spectator

Krug probes her family's actions in Nazi Germany, conducting interviews and roaming archives and flea markets. She confronts past and present in a book that's been praised for its invention and bravery.

The Guardian, 'The 50 biggest books of autumn 2018'

Related titles