Publication Date: 05/10/2022 ISBN: 9781804270035 Category:


Esther Kinsky, Caroline Schmidt

Publisher: Fitzcarraldo Editions
Publication Date: 05/10/2022 ISBN: 9781804270035 Category:
Paperback / Softback


Become the envy of all book lovers with your own Mr B’s sticker to show off where you do your shopping.



In May and September 1976, two earthquakes ripped through north-eastern Italy, causing severe damage to the landscape and its population. About a thousand people died under the rubble, tens of thousands were left without shelter, and many ended up leaving their homes in Friuli forever.

The displacement of material as a result of the earthquakes was enormous. New terrain was formed that reflects the force of the catastrophe and captures the fundamentals of natural history. But it is far more difficult to find expression for the human trauma, the experience of an abruptly shattered existence.

In Rombo, Esther Kinsky’s sublime new novel, seven inhabitants of a remote mountain village talk about their lives, which have been deeply impacted by the earthquake that has left marks they are slowly learning to name. From the shared experience of fear and loss, the threads of individual memory soon unravel and become haunting and moving narratives of a deep trauma.

Publisher Review

'Esther Kinsky has more eyes than most; in her novel Rombo she evokes the entire life of an Italian village before, during, and after the two devastating earthquakes of 1976, but each plant and animal central to the village is also a character, and the most important character of all is the landscape itself. The book becomes as much about the futures as the past, for our natural disasters are increasingly man-made, and we need more than ever this reminder of universal impermanence and the marks of memory we leave it in its wake.' - Mary Ruefle, author of Madness, Rack, and Honey 'The quality of Esther Kinsky's writing is so good that you cannot fail to be spellbound by it.' - The Modern Novel 'A tragic travelogue to the underworld-turned-world that recasts a newly lost Italian past with a climate-wise chorus straight out of the most harrowing Greek drama.' - Joshua Cohen, author of The Netanyahus 'In Esther Kinsky's new novel, language becomes the highest form of compassion and solidarity - not only with us human beings, but with the whole world, organic, non-organic, speaking out with many mouths and living voices. A miracle of a book; should be shining when it gets dark.' - Maria Stepanova, author of In Memory of Memory 'Esther Kinsky has created a literary oeuvre of impressive stylistic brilliance, thematic diversity and stubborn originality. ... It is always clear that for her the only landscape worth describing is the one in which she is currently situated. Far from "eco-dreaming", without sorrow or critique, Kinsky's novels and poems position humanity in relation to the ruins it has produced and what still remains of nature.' - 2022 Kleist Prize jury

Book experts at your service

What are you looking for?

A recommendation
Something specific
  • Mr B's Recommendation Station
  • Fill in the three questions below, along with your name and email address, and our book experts will be in touch soon with their personal recommendations

  • I'm after something specific
  • Tell us about the book, author or subject you're looking for, along with your name and email address and our book experts will be in touch as soon as possible