After years on the job, police detective Jakob Franck has retired. Finally, the dead—with all their mysteries—will no longer have any claim on him.
Or so he thinks. On a cold autumn afternoon, a case he thought he’d long put behind him returns to his life—and turns it upside down. The Nameless Day tells the story of that twenty-year-old case, which began with Franck carrying the news of the suicide of a seventeen-year-old girl to her mother, and holding her for seven hours as, in her grief, she said not a single word. Now her father has appeared, swearing to Franck that his daughter was murdered. Can Franck follow the cold trail of evidence two decades later to see whether he’s telling the truth? Could he live with himself if he didn’t?
A psychological crime novel certain to thrill fans of Henning Mankell and Jo Nesbo, The Nameless Day is a masterpiece, a tightly plotted story of contemporary alienation, loss, and violence.
The poems in this new volume by Abdourahman A. Waberi are introspective and inquisitive, reflecting a deep spiritual bond—with words, with the history of Islam and its great poets, with the landscapes those poets walked, among which Waberi grew up. The sage yearns here for the simplicity of each individual moment to somehow become eternal, for the histories and people that are part of him—his mother, his wife, his unborn child, the sacred texts that ground his being—to come together harmoniously within him, and to emerge through his words. Lyrical and personal, but with powerful historical and cultural resonances, these poems are the work of a master at the height of his powers.
As the current global recession stubbornly persists and financial experts around the world struggle to prevent further financial collapse, everyone has a theory about how to save the economy. But perhaps no idea that has been proffered is as radical or as unique as what Hugo Loetscher imagines in his novel Noah. In this book, first published in German in 1967, the eponymous Old Testament hero fuels his local economy with a prescient plan to build the Ark. Though no one around him seriously believes in the coming flood, everyone is more than willing to do business with him: “The people of Mesopotamia had never had it so good. There had been an economic miracle.” It is boom time in Mesopotamia, and the economy is flourishing; but as with many financial bubbles, scandal and demise are not far out of sight. An ancient legend retold in light of capitalist reality, Noah is a witty, delightful and thought-provoking parable of our times.
Hugo Loetscher (1929–2009), widely known as the most cosmopolitan of Swiss writers due to his travels and journalistic work in Latin America and Asia, has until now been known mainly by readers in his home country, where he has been the recipient of its most prestigious literary prize. This attentive and engaging translation makes available to a new audience an incredibly timely and entertaining work.
“For a long time, it was not clear if I would become a writer or an artist,” says Anselm Kiefer, whose paintings and sculptures have made him one of the most significant and influential artists of our time. Since he was awarded the Peace Prize by the German Book Trade in 2008, his essays, speeches, and lectures have gradually received more attention, but until now his diary accounts have been almost completely unknown. The power in Kiefer’s images, however, is rivaled by his writings on nature and history, literature and antiquity, and mysticism and mythology.
The first volume of Notebooks spans the years 1998-1999 and traces the origins and creative process of Kiefer’s visual works during this period. In this volume, Kiefer returns constantly to his touchstones: sixteenth-century alchemist Robert Fludd, German romantic poet Novalis, Martin Heidegger, Ingeborg Bachmann, Robert Musil, and many other writers and thinkers. The entries reveal the process by which his artworks are informed by his reading—and vice versa—and track the development of the works he created in the late 1990s. Translated into English for the first time by Tess Lewis, the diaries reveal Kiefer’s strong affinity for language and let readers witness the process of thoughts, experiences, and adventures slowly transcending the limits of art, achieving meaning in and beyond their medium.
Praise for Kiefer
“His works recall, in this sense, the grand tradition of history painting, with its notion about the elevated role of art in society, except that they do not presume moral certainty. What makes Kiefer’s work so convincing . . . is precisely its ambiguity and self-doubt, its rejection of easy solutions, historical amnesia, and transcendence.”—New York Times
“Wordiness for Kiefer is painterliness. The library and the gallery, the book and the frame inseparable, even interchangeable, in his monumental archive of human memory. Not since Picasso’s Guernica have pictures demanded so urgently that we studiously reflect and recollect in their presence.”—Simon Schama
Toby Litt is one of that rare breed of fiction writers who never writes the same book twice: every time out, he takes an unexpected new tack—and his readers happily follow.
Told in the form of the pithy, even lyrical advice a young soldier leaves behind after a mission gone wrong, Notes for a Young Gentleman is no exception. Its brilliantly creative form, and the epigrammatic genius Litt displays in its creation, nonetheless can’t hide the powerful, emotional story at its heart: of a young soldier parachuting toward a beautiful, moonlit country house on a mission . . . of betrayal. The house? Marlborough. The target? Winston Churchill, an old friend of his father. A brilliant, at times dizzying but always heartfelt exploration of love, revenge, and the essence of a gentleman, Notes for a Young Gentleman is classic Toby Litt: wholly new and wholly unforgettable.