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Gallus, the Stranger

Lenos Verlag, Basel, September 2018 ISBN: 978-3857874895

For more than twenty years Gallus has been dwelling in the wilderness of the Steinach Valley when a stranger appears. With her questions she forces the unruly hermit to remember his past: the perilous journey that around 590 AD took him and a group of wandering monks from Ireland to the Vosges and then to Lake Constance, their violent attempts at conversion and most of all the separation from his teacher and companion, the stern Columbanus.

The story of the voluntary emigrant and social dropout of the early seventh century, who lent his name to St. Gallen, resonates with the life of the stranger at the end of the twentieth century who found a home in Ireland and lost it again. The fate of the two protagonists connects over time to form a story of emigration, love and loss



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The Purloined Manuscript,

Lenos Verlag, Basel, April 2016 ISBN: 978-3-85787-467

On the morning of April 16th, 2015, the renowned medievalist Richard Merak is found dead at the Inselhotel in the city of Constance, on the very day he was due to give the keynote speech at the 600-year celebration of the Council of Constance. Laura returns to her hometown Basel after five years absence for his funeral and once more is forced to face her former life as Merak’s wife and to engage with the self-involved patricians of Basel. There, she comes across some discrepancies between the academic work of her husband and the findings of his unsuccessful rival Hans Peterson of the State Archives of Basel who drowned in the Rhine some months previously.   
Laura starts to trace the causes for the diverging assessments of the two historians originating in their research on their shared point of interest:  the life and work of Manuel Chrysoloras, born around 1355 in Constantinople, the author of the first Greek grammar for non-Greeks, who died during the Council of Constance. Quickly Laura comes to the conclusion that there is a connection between the disagreements between the two historians and their deaths. She gets caught in a net of secrecies and becomes a suspect herself.


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The Greek Empress

Verlag Nagel & Kimche, Zürich, March 2011
ISBN: 978-3-312-467-6

In the year 980 a little boy is born in Kleve. He will change the entire Western World and his contemporaries will celebrate him as one of the wonders of the world. Preparing his way is his mother, Theophanu, who against all odds rises to become the most powerful woman of the West forming the future of her son and the empire.

Theophanu – branded ´the Greek´ and scorned as the bride from Byzantium when marrying Otto II – turns into a wise politician at the side of her rather weak husband. In order to have her son, Otto III, crowned emperor in Rome she has to use all her diplomatic skill. She accompanies her husband on his journey to Italy where he plans to conquer Calabria gathering the largest army he ever commanded against the Saracens. But Otto is ambushed and defeated utterly. He is able to get away in a daring escape but dies shortly after. Now, Theophanu´s most powerful enemy, Henry of Bavaria, claims the throne and takes little Otto hostage. In a reckless ruse Theophanu succeeds in getting her child back and she then becomes the first sole reigning empress of the West. A faithfully researched historic thriller from a dark age.

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The Bride from Byzantium

Verlag Nagel & Kimche, Zürich, August 2008
ISBN: 3-3120-0415-2

One hundred years after the death of Charles called the Great in the West because he succeeded in uniting their quarrelling tribes, a new ruler was born, in Sagittarius´ sign, who aspired to rival him: Otto, of Saxon descent.
With the single-mindedness of the "Children of Fire" he pacified the empire inside, secured it outside, against the Slavs, the Hungarians, and when, in the middle of our century, the tenth after Christ was born, the Italian throne fell to a young widow, Otto conquered her as well with his determination. Following Charles´ example he made his way to Rome, where the Pope anointed him as emperor. (read more...)

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The Searching Gaze

Verlag Nagel & Kimche, Zürich, Februar 2007
ISBN: 3-3120-0383-0

Already in his lodgings in Florence, people recommended that he should have his portrait painted by the young German painter who had resided there some time before. After the Accademia Clementia, the Florentine Accademia del Disegnio, the oldest in Italy, had made her an honorary member, too – in spite of her youth, her gender – and some weeks ago, the Accademia di San Luca had accepted her as well. She is painting all the English in Rome, Morgan wrote. David Garrick, whom he had seen in London´´s Drury Lane theatre playing Macbeth, had sat for her in Naples. An unusual portrait, the American doctor decided... (read more...)

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The Invention of Love and Death

Verlag Nagel & Kimche, Zürich, 2003, ISBN: 3-3120-0322-9

Three Rivers. A row of snow-capped peaks hover in the sky. While I approach, blending into the horizon, it seems conceivable to reach them. There are bare orange groves behind the houses of the next hamlet; the road starts climbing, leaving evaporated lakes and crippled forests in its wake. The writer's house is sitting in a landscape made of parched scrub, bleached by the sun and sunk into the soil. Nobody heard the approaching car. I push the warped door open and follow the voices. (read more...)

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The Silent Rider

Novel, Verlag Nagel & Kimche, Zürich, 1998
ISBN: 3-3120-0242-7

Ringing their bells and blowing their bagpipes, they marched out of town to meet the fish cart, this morning. They will claim, in time, to have removed condemned men from their gallows, freed prisoners from gaol and to have been followed by all the townsfolk. This is the plan the citizens of Núrnberg intend to follow in order to lure heaven's benediction and the merchants' swelling purses into their town... (read more...)

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The Women's Ark

Novel, Verlag Nagel & Kimche, Zürich, 1996
Reprint: Books on Demand, Norderstedt, 2004, ISBN: 3-8334-1591-6

I remember seeing the valley for the first time. We had stopped on the road. There was the door, two windows in a gray wall, a narrow bridge led from the road to the house. The house was too small. The agent fumbled at the lock. When the door opened we we re hit by the light. Later, whenever visitors came in and moved on to the window even before the welcoming was over, it reminded me of how I had walked through the dusty hallway towards that light, deaf to everybody's words. (read more...)

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Like a Precious Stone

Novel, Verlag Nagel & Kimche, Zürich, 1994, ISBN: 3-3120-0193-5

By the middle of the second day, I had reached the edge of the big forest. I stopped and looked back. Never before had I seen the city from a distance. All my life I had spent within its walls, first in the uncle's house, and then in the chapter house with its small enclosed cemetery. (read more...)

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The Fool

Novel, Verlag Nagel & Kimche, Zürich, 1990
Reprint: Books on Demand, Norderstedt, 2004, ISBN: 3-8334-1590-8

Perhaps he was indeed glad to see me up there. The master did not like me coming down. Back to your place, fool, back to your place, and I would duck under my hump and climb back to the sill. He did not want me near him. No matter how drunk he was, he always gave me wide berth. The Venetian laughed when I told him about it. (read more...)

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