by Calla Henkel
Publication Date: February 1, 2022
Hardcover: 320 Pages
Two American ex-pats obsessed with the Amanda Knox trial find themselves at the nexus of murder and celebrity in glittering late-aughts Berlin in this “hugely entertaining” (The New York Times) debut with a wicked sense of humor.
Hoping to escape the pain of the recent murder of her best friend, art student Zoe Beech finds herself studying abroad in the bohemian capital of Europe—Berlin. Rudderless, Zoe relies on the arrangements of fellow exchange student Hailey Mader, who idolizes Warhol and Britney Spears and wants nothing more than to be an art star.
When Hailey stumbles on a posting for a high-ceilinged, prewar sublet by well-known thriller writer Beatrice Becks, the girls snap it up. They soon spend their nights twisting through Berlin’s club scene and their days hungover. But are they being watched? Convinced that Beatrice intends to use their lives as inspiration for her next novel, Hailey vows to craft main-character-worthy personas. They begin hosting a decadent weekly nightclub in the apartment, finally gaining the notoriety they’ve been craving. Everyone wants an invitation to “Beatrice’s.” As the year unravels and events spiral out of control, they begin to wonder whose story they are living—and how it will end.
Other People’s Clothes brilliantly illuminates the sometimes dangerous intensity of female friendships, as well as offering an unforgettable window into millennial life and the lengths people will go to in order to eradicate emotional pain.
About the author
Calla Henkel is a writer, playwright, director, and artist who lives and works in Berlin. Her work with Max Pitegoff has been exhibited in museums and galleries worldwide, including the Whitney Museum of Art, and she currently operates a bar, performance space and film studio called TV in Berlin. Other People’s Clothes is her debut novel.
“Calla Henkel’s Other People’s Clothes is darkly funny, psychologically rich and utterly addictive. I couldn’t stop turning the pages as this witty, harrowing tale of twisty female friendships, slippery identity and furtive secrets unfolded. This is a debut you won’t want to miss.”—Megan Abbott, author of The Turnout
“What a rush! Reading Other People’s Clothes is like being granted entry to the best party on earth, a night to end all nights with Andy Warhol, Donna Tartt, and Graham Greene on the host committee. Calla Henkel’s young and beautiful buccaneers of Berlin show us how to turn mere fantasies into rocket fuel, how to rearrange reality into a collage of depravity and dopamine hits. Why hit the sack when you can live life to the last drop? This book is fun with a capital F.”—Lauren Mechling, author of How Could She
“Other People’s Clothes feels like reading a thriller by your most acerbic friend—the friend you’re not sure you trust but who tells the best jokes and who has the best hair. The tingle of acid is sweetened by a loving look at the hungers that run through young women.”—Rowan Hisayo Buchanan, author of Harmless Like You and Starling Days
“Full of delicious layers…I felt drunk reading it.”—Emma Jane Unsworth, author of Grown Ups
“Absorbing and electric…Henkel masterfully brings every inch of Hailey and Zoe’s world to life with her live-wire prose.”—Kirkus (starred review)