(cover art for Scribner, USA)

(cover art for Penguin, Germany)

Für die deutsche Ausgabe von Heimat bitte hier klicken.

Belonging (US title) / Heimat (foreign title)

Published in the following countries: USA (Scribner), UK (Particular Books), Germany (Penguin Hardcover), Holland (Balans), France (Gallimard), Norway (Spartacus), Sweden (Norstedts), Brazil (Companhia das Letras), Italy (Stile Libero), Denmark (Gads), Korea (Bookhouse Publishers Co.), Ukraine (Vydavnytstvo), Lithuania (Aukso Zuvys), Spain (Salamandra), Czech Republic (Akropolis) and Russia (Boomkniga). Future releases: China (Thinkingdom), Japan (Enishi Shuppan).

A 288-page illustrated and hand-lettered visual memoir on a German family’s memory of WWII. (See excerpts of the book and work-in-progress video below.)

Nora Krug was born decades after the fall of the Nazi regime, but the Second World War cast a long shadow throughout her childhood and youth in the city of Karlsruhe, Germany. For Nora, the simple fact of her German citizenship bound her to the Holocaust and its unspeakable atrocities and left her without a sense of cultural belonging. Yet Nora knew little about her own family’s involvement in the war: though all four grandparents lived through the war, they never spoke of it.

Now in her late thirties, after almost twenty years of living abroad (first in the UK, then in the US), Krug realizes that living away from Germany has only intensified her need to ask the questions she didn’t dare, or didn’t think to ask a child and young adult. Returning to Germany, she visits archives, conducts research, and interviews family members, uncovering in the process the stories of her maternal grandfather, a driving teacher in Karlsruhe during the war, and her father’s brother Franz-Karl, who died as a teenage SS soldier in Italy. Her extraordinary quest, spanning continents and generations, pieces together her family’s troubling story and reflects on what it means to be a German of her generation.

Belonging wrestles with the idea of Heimat, the German word for the place that first forms us, where the sensibilities and identity of one generation pass on to the next. In this highly inventive visual memoir—equal parts graphic novel, family scrapbook, and investigative narrative—Nora Krug draws on letters, archival material, flea market finds, and photographs to attempt to understand what it means to belong. A wholly original record of a German woman’s struggle with the weight of catastrophic history, Belonging is also a reflection on the responsibility that we all have as inheritors of our countries’ pasts.


National Book Critics Circle Award (Autobiography winner)

Victoria and Albert Museum (Moira Gemmill Illustrator of the Year winner and Book Illustration Prize winner)

Lynd Ward Graphic Novel Prize (winner)

Art Directors Club (Gold Cube and Overall Discipline Winner)

Art Directors Club Germany (Bronze Nail)

Society of Illustrators (silver medal)

American Institute of Graphic Arts (50 Books winner)

Schubart-Literaturförderpreis (winner)

Evangelischer Buchpreis (winner)

Ludwig-Marum-Preis (winner)

British Book Design & Production Award (graphic novel winner)

Urhunden Prize for Best Foreign Album of the Year (winner)

Gerty Spies Prize for Political Education


New York Times Critics’ Top Books of 2018

The Guardian 50 Biggest Books of Autumn 2018

The Guardian Best Books of 2018

NPR Book of the Year 2018

Kirkus Reviews Best Memoirs of 2018

Time Magazine 8 Must-Read Books you May Have Missed in 2018

Time Magazine The 10 Best Nonfiction Books of 2018 (honorable mention)

San Fransisco Chronicle Best Books of 2018

Boston Globe Best Books of 2018

SWR Bestenliste January 2019

School Library Journal Best Graphic Novel of 2018

Wall Street Journal 5 Best Books on Reckonings With History


German Youth Literature Prize 2020 (short list: winner announced in October 2020)

German Youth Literature Prize 2019 (short list)

National Jewish Book Award (short list)

Orwell Prize for Political Writing (short list)

Longman History Today Prize (short list)

Harvey Book of the Year Award (short list)

Chautauqua Prize (long list)

Angoulême International Comics Festival Fauve D’Or 

See excerpts of the book and work-in-progress video below.

Für die deutsche Ausgabe von Heimat bitte hier klicken.

(See excerpts of the book and work-in-progress video below.)

“A mazy and ingenious reckoning with the past. … The notion of ‘consolation’ is one I suspect Krug would regard with suspicion. What she seems in pursuit of is a better quality of guilt. … That’s where honor seems to lie, this book suggests: in the restless work of remembering, in the looking again, the recalibration and the revision. In getting the whole picture, and getting it right.”

The New York Times, Parul Sehgal

“In her extraordinary graphic memoir Heimat, Krug dissects antisemitism in her own family’s history and Germany’s national guilt over the Holocaust–and the country’s recent far-right backlash. … The curious appeal of Krug’s graphic memoir is that it never fully loses itself in the act of storytelling but constantly stops to turn over and reassess the means at its disposal.”

The Guardian, Philip Oltermann

“Nora Krug has created a beautiful visual memoir of a horrific time in history. A time that torments us to this day. Asking questions and searching for the truth, she will not turn away from the legacy of her family and her country. She asks the question of how any of us survive our family history. Ultimately, the only course is not to veil the answers.”

Maira Kalman, author of Cake and Ooh-la-la Max in Love

Belonging is an astoundingly honest book that conducts a devastating–and irresistible–investigation into one’s family struggle with the forces of history. I could not stop reading it and when I as done, I could not stop thinking about it. By going so deeply into her family’s history, Krug has in some ways written about us all.”

Sebastian Junger, author of Tribe and War

“A page-turning scrapbook/collage of memory, meaning and accountability, Ms. Krug draws the reader through her family history with the directness of imagery, handwriting, and, ultimately, a disquieting direness that has echoes in our American life, right now. Belonging is valuable, readable and, needless to say, highly recommended.”

Chris Ware, author of Building Stories

“To belong to a place is not to be able to choose what it takes from you. But we can choose what we take from it. Nora Krug takes from her German homeland, and then gives to us, a sense of what it is like to be German today, and a guide to how a reckoning with the past can begin.”

Timothy Snyder, author of Bloodlands and Black Earth


The Observer, Rachel Cooke

“Pick up Nora Krug’s reverberant graphic memoir, Belonging, and be prepared to lose yourslef for hours in this unstinting investigation into her conflicted feelings about being German and her family’s role in the Holocaust. … Belonging is both emotionally and graphically complex. … it’s endlessly absorbing.”

NPR, Heller McAlpin

“… a highly original and powerful graphic novel that works on many levels. … a book that is as informative as a history and as touching as a novel.”

Financial Times, Frederick Studemann

“Provocative…as lush as it is meticulous…this work of stunning craftsmanship stands as a testament to speaking out as a necessary first step to healing.”

Publishers Weekly

“Nora Krug’s book Belonging is a heart-wrenching, suspenseful and fascinating odyssey that straddles, and seeks to uncover, an uncharted, inaccessible, unfathomable past. It is a kaleidoscope of interrupted lives, leading inexorably to its ultimate conclusion. I couldn’t stop reading it.”

Hava Beller, director of The Restless Conscience

“As a Jewish heir of grandparents who themselves had to flee the upsurge of fascism in their German homelands, I found granddaughter Nora Krug’s heartrending investigation of her own family’s painstakingly occluded history through those years especially moving. But as an American living through these, our very own years of a seemingly inexorable drift into one’s still not quite sure what, I found Krug’s achingly realized graphic memoir downright unsettling, for what will our own grandchildren one day make of us and our own everyday compromises and failure sot attend?”

Lawrence Weschler, author of, among others, Calamaties of Exile and A Miracle, A Universe: Settling Accounts with Torturers

Heimat is compelling and beautifully crafted graphic memoir. Holding this book, and leafing through its pages, rich with photographs, handwritten letters and exquisite drawings, you feel as if the past is reaching out and grabbing you. It is an exploration of legacy and memory, the thins we inherit, the stories we pass on and the strange power the past can hold over us. I loved it.”

Isabel Greenberg, author of The Encyclopedia of Early Earth

“…radical… Heimat A German Familienalbum is a dedication, not a reckoning, but one that doesn’t avoid horror in the slightest. … accessible and complex at the same time.”

Berliner Zeitung, Sabine Rohlf

“And thus her graphic memoir is more of a graphic statement, a snapshot not only of her own family history, but also of the reality of possibilities for any type of storytelling about cultural heritage.”

Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung, Andreas Platthaus

“One of the most peculiar books I’ve ever held in my hands. … an intelligent, visually wonderfully opulent picture book for adults. … Heimat by Nora Krug represents a form of self-ascertainment, of finding one’s position, and a moral compass. Nora Krug’s autobiographical search for traces is differentiated, intelligent and sublime, both in its images and in its words, and she thus creates the possibility of the book itself becoming a Heimat.”

ARD Druckfrisch, Denis Scheck

“A great piece of art with a great narrative power.”

SWR2 Lesenswert Quartett, Anne-Dore Krohn

“A masterpiece of a narrative–as touching as a novel, as deep as a non-fiction book.”


“In this remarkably executed graphic narrative which combines drawing, archival photography, typography and different kinds of artwork, she tells of a spiritual and existential quest that doesn’t allow for a simple division into good and evil. Equally dense and intensive, historical and personal, and with a feminine point of view, Heimat was received very well in the United States. Well-deserved!”

GlamourSophie Rosemont


Für die deutsche Ausgabe von Heimat bitte hier klicken.

(See excerpts of the book and work-in-progress video below.)

August 1, 2018: New Yorker Blog
The Bracing Honesty of “Belonging,” a Graphic Memoir About German Identity

August 15, 2018: Die Zeit Magazin
Der Erinnerung auf der Spur

August 16, 2018: WDR Radio
Nora Krug: “Heimat – ein deutsches Familienalbum”

August 17, 2018: Frankfurter Allgemeine
Durchblick im Nebelmeer der deutschen Geschichte

August 27, 2018: Deutschlandfunk
Die Zeichnerin und Autorin Nora Krug

August 27, 2018: Arte
Graphic Novel: Schwierige Heimat

August 30, 2018: Der Tagesspiegel
Heimat von Nora Krug: Familienaufstellung

September 2, 2018: ARD
Gezeichnete Erinnerung

September 15, 2018: The Guardian
The 50 Biggest Books of Autumn 2018

September 21, 2018: Bayerischer Rundfunk
Grenzenlose Vielfalt

September 21, 2018: Publishers Weekly
On Nostalgia and Nazis: PW Talks with Nora Krug

September 24, 2018: SWR2 Lesenswert Quartett
Lesenwert Quartett mit Denis Scheck

September 27, 2018: Berliner Zeitung

September 30, 2018: The Guardian
A Graphic History of the Rise of the Nazis

October 3, 2018: The Guardian
Nora Krug: ‘I would have thought, what’s left to say about Germany’s Nazi past?”

October 3, 2018: The New York Times
A Visual Memoir Asks What It Means for Germany to Reckon With Its Past

4. Oktober 2018: VQR
Nora Krug’s Notes to Self

October 6, 2018: NPR
‘Belonging’ Explores The Notion of Homeland and Inherited Guilt

October 6, 2018: The Telegraph
How I Came to Terms With My Family’s Nazi Past

October 7, 2018: ARD
Druckfrisch with Denis Scheck

October 9, 2018: Bayern Radio
Das Große Erinnerungsbuch “Heimat”

October 12, 2018: Financial Times
Heimat by Nora Krug–Homeward Bound

October 12, 2018: ARD
Videos von der ARD Bühne am Freitag

October 17, 2018: BBC Two – Newsnight
Heimat: Nora Krug’s journey home

October 21, 2018: The Monocole Weekly
Nora Krug, Sandi Tan, and Katherine Findlay

October 30, 2018: NRC
Wat deden mijn Duitse opa’s en oma’s in de oorlog? In ‘Heimat’ zoek ik het antwoord

November 2, 2018: BBC World Service
Witness History: My Kristallnacht Story

November 4, 2018: VPRO
Nora Krug en Maaike Meijer

8. November 2018: Stuttgarter Zeitung
War Opa ein Nazi?

November 11, 2018: Radio Eins
Die Literaturagenten mit Marion Brasch und Gesa Ufer

November 13, 2018: The Spectator
Books Podcast: reconciling guilt and patriotism in post-war Germany

November 17, 2018: The Times
Siobhan Murphy takes a discerning look at this autumn’s crop of graphic books

November 19, 2018: Eye Magazine
Nora Krug’s graphic memoir explores the impact of Second World War–and the Nazi regime– on German families

November 19, 2018: Time
The Best Books You May Have Missed in 2018

November 29, 2018: Volkskrant
Original sin in the picture: Joost Pollmann about the search of German cartoonists to ‘die Heimat’

November 29, 2018: Le Figaro
Heimat, Nora Krug: the burden of ancestral faults

December 1, 2018: Time Magazine
The Ten Best Nonfiction Books

December 4, 2018: The Guardian
Guardian Best Books of 2018: across fiction, politics, food, and more

December 4, 2018: New York Times
Times Critics’ Top Books of 2018

March 7, 2019: Writer’s Voice
Nora Krug, Belonging and Roz Chast, Going Into Town

March 10, 2019: CBC
Nora Krug asks tough questions about her German family’s wartime past

May 22, 2019: TV Ontario
What Germans Don’t Dare Ask

May 23, 2019: Victoria and Albert Museum
In conversation with Nora Krug, Moira Gemmill Illustrator of the Year 2019

May 30, 2019: Louisiana Museum of Modern Art
Who I Am as a German

You can buy the book here!