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Florian Wacker

Dahlenberger (Poolside)

Verlagshaus Jacoby & Stuart, July 2015, 216 pp.
ISBN: 978 3 942787 69 7

Florian Wacker perfectly captures the mood at the municipal outdoor pool during a hot, aimless, small-town summer. Compulsively readable, Poolside is an astutely observed piece of literary fiction about teenage friendships, with a tantalising hint of mystery.

Sixteen-year-old Jan lives in a small town near Frankfurt. He spends every summer with his friends at the public swimming pool where they practise diving from the pool’s springboard, but never manage more than a couple of back flips due to its limited height. This becomes a symbol for the limits of the town: if you want to succeed, you have to get out of there. One day another boy turns up, makes the perfect jump, and promptly leaves. This boy, who calls himself Andy, becomes something of an obsession for the group: he reappears and disappears, but never interacts with anyone else.

The novel explores the back-stories of the friends and Jan’s budding romance with Clara, before Jan leaves to go to a boarding school for gifted pupils. His time in the town is over, and he says goodbye to his friends. At the end of the novel Jan is in Frankfurt visiting his father. In the public pool he is stopped by a gang of teenagers and introduces himself as Andy ...

‘A promising debut and an attempt to break with the narrow borders of the Young Adult novel.’ ekz Bibliotheksservice


Florian Wacker was born in Stuttgart in 1980. He studied orthopaedagogy and attended the Deutsches Literaturinstitut in Leipzig. He has worked as a carer for young people and people with disabilities as well as in child and adolescent psychiatry. His work has been published in many anthologies and literary journals. In 2014 his first collection of short stories was published. Dahlenberger is his eagerly anticipated first novel. Florian Wacker lives in Frankfurt am Main.


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Translation rights available from:
Verlagshaus Jacoby & Stuart
Contact: Maria Holtrop
Tel: +49 (0)30-47 37 47 920

Jacoby & Stuart was founded in 2008 by Edmund Jacoby and his wife Nicola Stuart, both of whom have been in publishing for many successful years. The list consists of ambitious childrens books, both richly illustrated and wellwritten and outstanding novels as well as biographies for young readers.