The Shadow-Boxing Woman

Inka Parei

Translated by Katy Derbyshire



5 x 8.5 inches, 179pp. May 2011(HB), March 2018 (PB)

ISBN : 9781906497958 & 9780857425911

Rs  425.00 (HB)     499.00 (PB)
$21.00 (HB)     19.00 (PB)
£14.00 (HB)     12.99 (PB)

Buy (HB)       Buy (PB)

In The Shadow-Boxing Woman, a novel from German writer Inka Parei, a decaying apartment building in post-Wall Berlin is home to Hell, a young woman with a passion for martial arts. When Hell’s neighbour disappears she sets out across the city in search of her. In the course of her quest, she falls in love with a bank robber, confronts her own dark memories, and ends up saving more than just her missing neighbour.


What is on the surface a crime novel is actually a haunting dual portrait of a city and a woman caught up in times of change and transition. This debut novel combines Parei’s tight prose with a compulsive delight in detail that dynamically evokes many lost and overlooked corners of Berlin. 

Inka Parei lives in Prenzlauer Berg, Berlin, with her son, writing and tutoring emerging literary talents. English translations of her novels The Shadow-Boxing Woman (2010) and What Darkness Was (2013) are also published by Seagull Books. 


Katy Derbyshire co-edits, an online magazine of contemporary German writing in English, and co-hosts a monthly translation lab in Berlin. She has translated books by Helene Hegemann, Clemens Meyer, Inka Parei (Shadow-Boxing Woman and What Darkness Was for Seagull Books), Simon Urban, Dorothee Elmiger (Invitation to the Bold of Heart for Seagull Books) and Sibylle Lewitscharoff (Apostoloff, forthcoming from Seagull Books).

German List