The Old Country


Original Title: Altes Land

Hardcover with jacket, 288 pages, 13.5 x 21.5 cm, 5.3 x 8.5 in.
ISBN: 978-3-8135-0647-1
€ 19.99 [D] | € 20.60 [A] | CHF 27.90 * (* rec. retail price) recommended retail price

Publishing House: Knaus

Date of publication: February 16, 2015
This title is available.

Kundenrezensionen: 5 Sterne (84)


Rights sold to: Czech Republic (Host), Denmark (Rosinante), France (Kero), Italy (Salani), Lithuania (Alma Littera), The Netherlands (Harper Collins), Norway (Bastion), Spain (Maeva), Sweden (Nona), US/World Engl. (St. Martin's Press)

Selected by New Books in German

Dörte  Hansen - The Old Country


"In German novelist Dörte Hansen's wry, tender debut, two women take shelter from their wounds in their family's tumbledown farmhouse."

Infinite Reads

"Frequently humorous, This House Is Mine nevertheless strikes deep chords of isolation and abandonment. [It] is as challenging and comforting as rural life itself."

Infinite Reads

"A beautiful, profound novel about the families we are born into and the ones we create."

Tatjana Soli, New York Times bestselling author of The Lotus Eaters

"This House is Mine is deeply atmospheric—a dynamic mix of humor and melancholy."

Erika Swyler, author of The Book of Speculation

"Dörte Hansen always finds the right tone for her wonderfully strong-willed characters. Sometimes ironic, sometimes moving."


"An amazing novel, an amazing debut. Dörte Hansen is as good as any of the great American writers."


"Dörte Hansen has written an enlightened family saga (…) and a sensitive homage to an unsentimental breed of people. Altes Land – a super book."

Hamburger Morgenpost

"Hansen has an impressive talent for characterisation, skilfully capturing the characters’ differing perspectives. "

New Books in German

"An engaging read that chimes with the growing interest (...) in the experience of German civilian refugees at the end of the Second World War."

New Books in German

"Dörte Hansen succeeds in providing interest at a high level, and thus is The Old Country a great debut!"

Druckfrisch (ARD)

"A wonderful debut about women who learn about how to persevere, about being strangers, and about the longing for home."

Für Sie

"The Old Country is a loving, warm-hearted novel about the search for a place in life and the desire for family."


"The author finds exactly the right words for the rugged portrait of this taciturn region […]. This book is too melancholic and too good to read just once."

"It is the balanced mix of melancholy and finely drawn humour that makes this book so special."

WDR 2 Bücher

"Hansen’s debut novel … has quickly become a bestseller. Quite understandably, because this is an unassuming compassionate novel, entertaining reading that does one good."

Die Zeit

"This is the sensation of the spring season … Dörte Hansen has written a humorous, intelligent, and entertaining novel."

Spreeradio Berlin

"A smart, high-tempo novel. Dörte Hansen possesses a wonderful talent for language. For me this is the best book of the spring season."

Viva! stern

"With psychological sophistication and a satirical edge, this German author explores in her debut novel the trauma of expulsion … The mix of family novel and county-living parody works: astonishingly!"

Denis Scheck „Druckfrisch“ ARD

"A strong book, with a happy ending as well."

Berliner Zeitung und Frankfurter Rundschau

"In conclusion: a book with a strong undertow. Fantastic!"


"This is a book about exile and flight, about homelessness and an inner feeling of home – a serious theme, written with a light touch."


"Old Land will not be easy to put down, as it wants to be read further, page by page, until readers realise that they will miss these characters who have become so alive."

RBB Kulturradio

"This is classic. From this plethora of opposites, the author Dörte Hansen has succeeded in writing a moving and definitely not one-dimensional story of a family."

SWR 1 Baden-Württemberg

"Dörte Hansen is a psychologically capable author whose book finds the proper balance between the handed-down trauma of refugees, the apple farmers in the Old Land, and the muddled ideas satiated city people have of country life."


"Hansen’s literary strength is in the metaphors of nature, the wind and clouds, fields, and rain, which are treated as living elements."

Die Zeit

"A fine and quiet homeland novel far from kitsch and pathos."


"One must read this … I’m not surprised that this novel sells well, and I can only recommend it."

DeutschlandRadio Kultur Lesart

"A hit. No kitsch, not one false word."

Die Welt

"Hansen’s haunting debut novel spans 70 years, from 1945 to the present [...] Hansen makes this story about the process of healing affecting, real, and memorable."

Publishers Weekly

"A best-seller in Germany, Hansen’s book melds poignancy and wry humor to explore the meaning of family and home."


"Breathtaking and refreshing."

Le quotidien du Luxembourg

"A captivating and often humorous novel about two women who love liberty and are searching for their place in the world."

Le monde des livres

"This debut novel filled with tenderness draws a portrait of two independent women who find something they did not know they were looking for: a family."

Ouest France

"The story between the lines creates the special charm of this novel."



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