Laura Karasek steps out of her father's shadow

Frankfurt Laura Karasek is a regular at Restaurant Charlot. The waiters greet her with a hand kiss and stop a moment longer. Previously, the 37-year-old was always in the gem with her parents. Today she comes with friends or to business meetings like the interview with the Handelsblatt. Nearby is the Alte Oper in Frankfurt, as well as the glass office tower, which houses the law firm of Clifford Chance – Karasek's former employer, one of the world's leading law firms.

Today Karasek lives in other spheres: writing. A few weeks ago, her third novel entitled "Drei Wünsche" came out. It is about three female figures and their sometimes difficult relationships with the father, the boss, the partner and an unfulfilled desire for children.

The book makes it clear who the model for the father is: Hellmuth Karasek, her father, the well-known literary critic and professor of theater studies. Since she is quite open, she wants to hide that "not at all".

The death of the father in 2015 was a deep nick for Laura Karasek. Not only did she lose a loved one. She became aware that she has other goals in life than to be a successful business lawyer. Today she lives a different life, publishes books and moderates in spring every Monday on ZDFneo the talk show "Zart am Limit". "I've always dreamed of writing a book and having my own TV show," she says.

Realizing dreams – that sounds easier than it is to do. The story of Laura Karasek stands for all of us: how do you free yourself from your parents? And how do you find your place in life, find your way out of mistakes like yours, the world of file folders and economic paragraphs?

Labeled as a celebrity child

Behind the glass façade of Clifford Chance, there is a world of its own: the canteen offers cake in addition to lunch at around five o'clock and dinner from 8 o'clock. There are showers. The working hours are long, the suits gray, the shirts white.

And earlier was in the middle: the eloquent 37-year-old blonde with the smoky voice. She likes to wear high-heeled shoes, has painted lips and red fingernails. "Laura was always very experimental," says her former boss and supporter Uwe Hornung. He definitely does not associate gray, blue and black with her. "Rather signal colors."

He praises her good writing and her humor, her collegial nature. "She had a good word for everyone." She had been a sunshine in the firm, which is now missing. The affection is mutual, Karasek speaks of her boss as a "great advocate of women".

Laura Karasek spent six years working in the world of laws and contracts. She liked the law firm, the work, the colleagues. "It was like safari, an exotic world that I did not know from home. It was just mine. "But it also nagged her with a feeling:" I do not fit into this formal world. "For a long time, she ignored the feeling. Karasek wanted to make it there, even to show it to her father.

She was often the only woman in meetings. It was not a problem for her, she took it with humor like many things in life – including herself. "I lock myself, smash my cell phone or lock the tree without my bike." Cigarette attachment on the pants. "Oh," she calls. A quick wipe and wave. The burning part is out. Karasek laughs. Back to the question. Did she annoy anything at the office?

I was the celebrity kid. It was this assumption in the room, I would have done nothing myself. Laura Karasek (author)

Only one thing. Karasek, who has passed two state exams with distinction, was constantly underestimated as a woman. "For me added that I like wearing high heels and Karasek hot – I was the celebrity kid. It was this assumption in the room, I would have done nothing. "She still works 70 hours a week.

"It sounds stupid now, but I wanted to prove it to men in particular," she says. "I can sit just as long as you. You can roar loudly, I can also roar loudly. "She pushed quickly to limits. She was fed up with phrases and even asked if she had her days. "No, I can be so loud too. Simply because it excites me. I have the right to do that as well, "Karasek says in a state of excitement today. She has learned to assert herself.

Doubts about the appearance

But why did not she adapt? Also dressed in a gray suit and flat shoes? Instead, she was the extravagant blonde, who had a column in the "star" as a lawyer, wrote books and Stefan Raab has given a lesson on sex in literature in his broadcast. "Of course, I wondered why you have to match a certain optical image if you want to be taken seriously," she says. But ultimately it was more important to show her personality.

Maybe because she was able to break away from her parents, her famous father. Even if she comes from a literature budget, she never wanted to match the picture. "I want to live out that bland and superficial side of myself, because I like them too, and not look like the nerd or bookworm."

Laura Karasek is a Papa child. Although she has a very close bond with her mother today. But she and her father had a special connection. They admired each other, had a "certainty of reply," she says. Laura is the older daughter from her second marriage with cultural editor Armgaard Seegers. Her brother Niko Karasek is three years younger. He is a filmmaker.

Laura Karasek lives the principle that when I open up, other people do as well. "When people maintain the facade, the conversations become boring. I just do not care, "says Karasek. She fascinates literature because she "wants to look into the abysses, into the soul".

Laura Karasek: Three wishes
Eichborn
368 pages
20 Euros

In chasms, she looks in her talk show. In "Zart am Limit" she talks with her guests about menstruation, money and everyday racism – societal border issues. The "Spiegel" described their broadcast air as interesting, but without "really new talc color". Also the "Taz" judges: "little innovative". On average, 530 000 spectators turn on. Not bad, but there is potential for expansion.

There will be a second season with a new concept. She has heard from the sender that she would polarize her appearance. Karasek meets this. "That's one of the drawbacks of the new job," she says. As a writer, she was much more vulnerable than in the law firm. In the world behind the glass tower.

Karasek sometimes gets the feeling of not being enough. "That accompanies me. Also on the outside, "she admits. Outsiders, however, see the slim, pretty, eloquent and cheerful woman. She has two children, is married to banker Dominic Briggs. The career change is done. It seems Karasek has proved it to everyone again. Does she feel more arrived now?

"I'm happier today," she says. Now her work is "more what I would do privately". Fewer transactions and investment models, but more culture, encounters, books and TV shows. "I find my life richer now." But it's absurd to think that a job is always fun.

More: He had his great time as a cult editor of the "Mirror", Hellmuth Karasek was known on television as a talk: an enterprising friend of the punch line between the worlds of culture. To the death of the critic.

Agenda (t) Literature (t) Karasek (t) Laura Karasek (t) Hellmuth Karasek (t) Clifford Chance (t) TAZ (t) Laura Karasek (t) Hellmuth Karasek

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