The Sound of Breaking Glass

Book Author Kirsten Warner
Rights Available World excl. NZ and Turkey

Christel is at shattering point. She’s got two small children, her job in reality television is super high stress, she’s an activist with Women Against Surplus Plastic and now she’s being stalked. To top it off her protest milk bottle sculpture appears to have come to life like the golem of Jewish folklore and is reviving characters from a past she can hardly bear to confront.

Christel’s father was a Holocaust survivor and a refugee to New Zealand after the war – and she cannot focus on the problems in front of her without dealing with an inheritance that is both murky and unresolvable. And how to live with the secrets she begins to uncover? Set in Auckland in the 1990s, The Sound of Breaking Glass is that rare thing – a book that crackles with end-of-millennium urban life while vib¬rating with a history that’s impossible to forget.

The Sound of Breaking Glass is a provocative novel that draws on environmental issues and life working in the media as well as what it is to be second generation, the daughter of a Holocaust survivor. Despite its dark material, it is vivid and often very funny, verging on a black comedy. Set largely in Auckland, New Zealand, it ends up in Germany when Christel has a complete breakdown. Here Christel comes face-to-face with her family’s pain and meets the ghosts who have been clamouring for her attention.

Winner of the MitoQ Best First Book Award for Fiction 2019

About the Author
Kirsten Warner
is a writer, journalist and musician. Her father, Günter Warner, who passed away in 2017 aged 95, was a refugee from Nazi Germany and survivor of the Holocaust. She was born in Hastings, and brought up in Tauranga and Auckland where she worked for newspapers and magazines and as a television researcher. She writes poetry and plays in a travelling folk-blues band.


Mākaro Press


Trade paperback



Contemporary Fiction

Age range

Publication Date
July 2018

Rights Available:
World excl. NZ and Turkey

Rights Sold:
Turkish, New Human Publishing

Rights Agents:


Nadine Rubin Nathan of High Spot Literary

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A page-turner full of surprises

Diana Wichtel

The Sound of Breaking Glass is an extraordinarily powerful novel about the persistence of trauma and the effects of the abuse of power ... Despite the almost cathartic intensity of this book, it has an underlying humanity that enables you to believe in Christel’s journey – and marvel not only at the horrors humans are capable of but also their powerful ability to endure and even flourish.

Alyson Baker, Nelson Public Libraries