German for Travelers: A Novel in 95 Lessons

A Novel by Norah Labiner

“For those who like a novel that picks apart their intellect, this one delivers. . . . Labiner reveals the secrets of a lineage, and in the process says some interesting things about the Jewish experience.” —Minneapolis Star Tribune

May 2009
6 x 9 | 270 pages
Paperback Original

ISBN: 978-1-56689-223-0.



A family saga redolent of the Old World, layered with consequence, and frosted with Technicolor.

In search of the key to unlock a great family mystery, Lemon Leopold, a Hollywood starlet, and her cousin Eliza, a romance writer, go to Berlin. Soon they are on a trail leading back to their great-grandfather Jozef Apfel, a Jewish pioneer of psychoanalysis in early twentieth-century Germany.

Alternating between the great doctor’s household, the mysterious case of his patient Elsa Z., the rise of Nazi Germany, 1960s and 1970s Detroit, and modern-day Berlin, this is a story about a girl whose dreams reveal the future, a family beset by ghosts, and the place that haunts them all.


“[A] creative, modern novel.” —Jewish Woman Magazine

“Inventive and engaging. . . . A great read.” —Pioneer Press

“Labiner’s voice is bold and outgoing, giving the impression that she can tromp through whatever story she pleases.” —Onion, A.V. Club Twin Cities

“[An] intricate family saga.” —Publishers Weekly

“Cleverly constructed. . . . Labiner shows a light comic touch.” —Denver Post

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