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The Berlin Syndrome


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2006, Berlin. The once-divided city still holds its share of secrets.

About the Author

Melanie Joosten works at the National Ageing Research Institute in Melbourne. Her debut novel, Berlin Syndrome, saw her named a Sydney Morning Herald Best Young Novelist and receive the Kathleen Mitchell Award; it is currently being made into a motion picture directed by Cate Shortland. Melanie holds a Master of Arts and a Master of Social Work. Her work appears in various publications, including Meanjin, Kill Your Darlings, Best Australian Stories 2014, and Going Down Swinging.


"Berlin Syndrome is a compelling literary thriller."
--Australian Book Review

"A courageous and exciting debut...Berlin Syndrome is an intelligent novel, and Joosten is masterful in her descriptions of the loneliness that can be found both in a foreign city full of strangers and in an apartment shared by two people."
--Eloise Keating, Bookseller & Publisher

"Berlin Syndrome is a beguiling psychological dance."
--Canberra Times

"In language that's hypnotic and sparse, Joosten's remarkable first novel demands to be guzzled in one sitting."
--Courier Mail

"Begs to be guzzled in one sitting."
--Daily Telegraph

"This gripping psycho-thriller has put the talented Melbourne writer on our radar big time."

"Joosten's debut novel is a taut and intimate psychological unflinching examination of power dynamics in a relationship."
--Literary Minded

"[Joosten's] frank evocative depiction of what happens when loneliness and obsession collide makes for a striking debut novel."
--North & South magazine

"Startling yet understated...Joosten writes with authority and restraint, uncommon attributes for a first-time novelist."
--Patrick Allington, SA Weekend magazine

"A gripping, well-written, undisputedly strong novel."
--Louise Swinn, Saturday Age

"Elegantly written, especially difficult given the subject matter."
--Sunday Age

"A psychological thriller of the highest order, this is a strong first showing. More, please."
--Sunday Herald Sun

"A true psychological thriller."
--Sunday Tasmanian

"[A] haunting debut novel."
--Sydney Morning Herald

"An impressive debut."
--Vogue Australia

"Capture[s] the psychodynamics of a generation that is just emerging into its own on the page. I look forward to seeing what she does next."
--Weekend Australian

"Joosten excavates the psychology of captivity--its fear, smells, delusions and helplessness--in relentless detail and with considerable skill."
--Fiona McGregor

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