Shortlisted for the Cross Sports Book Awards, New Writer of the Year 2016
‘Lauppe-Dunbar marshals the facts of history deftly, and devastatingly, into her fictional characterscape. Her narrative is unflinching and darkly sensual’ – Planet
Dark Mermaids, by Anne Lauppe-Dunbar, is a shocking story of the horrors of a political system that doped its youngsters to sporting superhero status, and then left them to fend for themselves.
Shortlisted for the Impress and Cinnamon First Novel Prize, this East German noir thriller is set in 1990, a year after the fall of the Berlin Wall.
Unhappy West Berlin police officer Sophia is called on to investigate the murder of her childhood friend Käthe, after her beaten body is discovered in Sophia’s local park. Sophia is forced to return to the hometown she fled as a teenager with her enigmatic father Petrus, and Mia – a frightened child who turned up on her doorstep. She must investigate Käthe’s murder and care for a mother she believed abandoned her. As she reluctantly delves into the sordid Stasi secrets of those she grew up with, Sophia uncovers a web of horrors about her own abusive past as a child-swimming star in the former GDR. But her hunt for the truth has not gone unnoticed by those close to her, people who still have too much to hide.
Anne Lauppe Dunbar is a creative writing tutor at Swansea University, where she also studied for her PhD. She had a short story published in Sing Sorrow Sorrow (ed Gwen Davies, Seren) and has had stories, essays, papers and poems published with Cinnamon Press, Seventh Quarry and New Welsh Review.
She says: ‘I wrote Dark Mermaids as my refugee mother’s daughter: a child of the GDR who fled westwards carrying arcane knowledge of a country in which secrets and lies were endemic.’ In writing the novel Anne has extensively researched what is known of athletes doping and training in the area of East Germany she writes about.