A young woman who lives in Bavaria, Nele is quiet, an introvert, preferring to go unnoticed and keep to herself. That reticence carries over to her relationship with her father, Hero - until, that is, she realizes that he is seriously ill, and in fact may even be dying. That realization prompts her to work up the gumption to introduce him to her boyfriend, a Nigerian immigrant. This new-found courage impresses Hero, who comes to respect his daughter and entrusts her with a secret: a cardboard box whose contents are a mystery.
Root Leeb was born in Wurzburg, Germany, and is the author of several novels. Robert E. Goodwin is a faculty member at Skidmore College in Saratoga Springs, New York, and translator of Rudiger Safranski's "Romanticism: A German Affair."