From one of the most daring voices in European fiction, this is a story of the twentieth century traced through the various possible lives of one woman. She is a baby who suffocates in the cradle. Or she lives to become a woman and dies beloved. Or she dies betrayed. Or her memory is honored. Or she is forgotten by everyone. Moving from a small Galician town at the turn of the century through pre-war Vienna and Stalin's Moscow to present-day Berlin, Jenny Erpenbeck homes in on the moments when life follows a particular branch and 'fate' suddenly emerges from the sly interplay between history, character and pure chance.