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Heidrun Hannusch

Todesstrafe für die Selbstmörderin
(Death Penalty for Suicide)

Ch. Links Verlag, March 2011, 181 pp.
ISBN: 978 3 86153 616 1

This book is a curiosity. Irene Coffee is in exile in London, fleeing from the persecution of Jews in her hometown of Dresden. After making a suicide pact with her mother, Irene survives but her mother does not, and Irene suddenly finds herself on trial at the Old Bailey, charged with her mother’s murder. Sentenced to death but granted a royal pardon, Irene has a second chance at happiness, but – in another thought-provoking twist – does take her own life years later in Australia. Drawing together the three strands of judicial history, ongoing debates on assisted suicide, the war-time experience of Jewish refugees in London and Coffee’s own life-story, Hannusch has produced an original work that will intrigue and provoke with equal force.

‘As interest in the movie The King‘s Speech sweeps the world, the story of the stammering monarch’s intervention to save the life of Irene Coffee makes fascinating reading.’The Evening Standard


Heidrun Hannusch was born in 1954. She has worked in journalism and theatre, and now lives and works in Dresden as a freelance journalist and writer.


Application for assistance with translation costs – Germany

Translation rights available from:
Ch. Links Verlag GmbH
Tel: +49 30 440 232 23
Contact: Johanna Links

For information on publisher Ch. Links Verlag please contact NBG.