NIEMANDSSTADT (NO MAN'S TOWN) by Tobias Goldfarb wins Pied Piper Literary Prize 2022

NIEMANDSSTADT (NO MAN'S TOWN) by Tobias Goldfarb wins Pied Piper Literary Prize 2022

9th June, 2022

We’re thrilled to announce that NIEMANDSSTADT (NO MAN’S TOWN) by Tobias Goldfarb has won the Pied Piper Literary Prize 2022, the 19th annual prize for children’s and YA fantasy novels awarded by the town of Hamelin.

“Tobias Goldfarb has received the 19th annual Pied Piper Literary Prize for his novel NO MAN’S TOWN (Thienemann), a virtuosic and experimental urban fantasy in which worlds collide. The author’s confident YA debut more than measures up to the genre’s greatest offerings – at the same time, Goldfarb manages to avoid cliche. With stylistic brilliance distinctly marked by edginess and a sense of fragility, Goldfarb reflects the spectrum of human emotion in its entirety and tells a sensitive coming-of-age story. In short: this is a book that has its feet placed firmly on the ground, while confidently gazing skywards. A book that draws in readers of all ages, whether they are literature critics or only seldom pick up a book, so the jury claims.”


Berlin is a divided city. On one side, a modern metropolis where people are either working or glued to their screens, especially since the social network Magick has moved its headquarters there. On the other side, a place where the rain falls back into the sky, demons live under the pavement slabs, houses keep shifting around and dragons fly by the TV tower.

The two cities are separated by a membrane that only very few people can cross. Josephine is one of them. Shy, mostly offline and bullied for looking like a boy, she doesn’t really fit into this world. But she doesn’t care, as long as she can roam the streets »over there«. Until, one day, she doesn’t come back.

Josephine’s unlikely friend Elisabeth, it-girl and computer nerd, makes it her mission to find a passage to the other side and bring her back. But the clock is ticking: Magick’s algorithms have found a way to cross the membrane. Artificial intelligence is rapidly absorbing magic from the other side. Crowbots are sent as spies. Dragons made of steel start destroying the city.

The key to rescuing No Man’s Town and bringing Josephine back lies in her own dreams, visions and feelings. Magick’s supercomputer No. 1 is a fearsome enemy, but Josephine has dreamers of all ages,    Shakespeare’s Puck and her very own dragons on her side. And they are  real.