The Liquid Land
Raphaela Edelbauer, Jen Calleja
When her parents die in a car accident, highly talented Austrian physicist Ruth Schwarz is confronted with a problem. Her parents’ will calls for them to be buried in their childhood home – but for strangers, the village of Gross-Einland remains stubbornly hidden from view.
When Ruth finally finds her way there, she makes a disturbing discovery: beneath the town lies a vast cavern that exerts a strange control over the lives of the villagers. There are hidden clues about the hole everywhere, but nobody wants to talk about it – not even when it becomes clear that the stability of the entire town is in jeopardy.
In the literary tradition of Thomas Bernhard and Elfriede Jelinek, Raphaela Edelbauer’s tale of trauma and history weaves an opaque dream fabric that is frighteningly true to life, and in the process she turns us towards the abject horror that lies beneath repressed memory. The Liquid Land is a dangerous novel, at once glittering nightmare and dark reality, from an extraordinary new voice.
'An unfathomable and imaginative parable about Austria and how it dealt with its National Socialist past ... philosophical and fantastic.' -- Florian Baranyi * ORF * 'Edelbauer crosses borders and advances into unexplored areas of literature.' * 2017 Rauriser Literature Prize jury citation * 'A village that officially does not exist and that seems to be disappearing more and more ... Anyone who embarks on this trip is safely guided by Edelbauer - on a fine line between madness and adventure.' -- Christina Risken * Buchhandlung Kruger * Praise for Raphaela Edelbauer: 'Edelbauer's essays are huge and impossible, utopian and full of fantastical realisms, brilliant and unwieldy. Vulcanoid salvos, cold and hard, which hit the reader with brute force.' * Marietta Boening, Magazine of the Literaturhaus Wien * '[A] fun and fascinating read.' -- Nicki J. Markus, starred reivew
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