The novel was originally published in 2006. An English translation by Jamie Bulloch came out in 2012.
In Rome one January afternoon in 1943, a young German woman is on her way to listen to a Bach concert at the Lutheran church.
For her, the war is little more than a daydream, until she realizes that her husband might never return.
“Portrait of the Mother as a Young Woman”, winner of the prestigious Georg Büchner prize, is a mesmerizing psychological portrait of the human need to safeguard innocence and integrity at any cost, even at the risk of excluding reality.
More than just the story of this one woman, it is a compelling and credible description of a typical young German woman during the Nazi era.
Delius was born in Rome and grew up in Wehrda and Korbach in the state of Hesse. He studied German literature at the Free University and the Technical University in Berlin.
He graduated in 1970 and went to work in the publishing field. Between 1970 and 1978, he worked at the publishing firms Klaus Wagenbach and Rotbuch.
He has published more than a dozen novels and a number of poetry collections. His work has been translated into seventeen languages.
He has won numerous German literary prizes including the Joseph Breitbach Prize, the Georg Büchner Prize, and the Critics Prize.
He is a member of the Freien Akademie Hamburg, the Deutsche Akademie für Sprache und Dichtung and the Akademie der Künste Berlin.
Since the late 1970s, he has divided his time between Berlin and Rome.