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Kruso (Paperback)
  • Kruso (Paperback)
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Kruso (Paperback)

(author), (translator)
£12.99
Paperback 480 Pages
Published: 10/01/2019
  • 5+ in stock

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Winner of the German Book Prize, from the winner of the 2023 Georg Büchner Prize.

It is 1989, and a young literature student named Ed travels to the Baltic island of Hiddensee, a notorious destination for hippies, idealists, and those at odds with the East German state.

On Hiddensee, Ed joins the community of seasonal workers, led by the charismatic, enigmatic Kruso. At night, they secretly help the refugees who have come to the island seeking passage to the West. But Kruso is preoccupied by another kind of freedom — freedom of the mind.

As the wave of history washes over the German Democratic Republic, the friends’ grip on reality loosens and life on the island will never be the same.

Publisher: Scribe Publications
ISBN: 9781911344414
Number of pages: 480
Dimensions: 198 x 129 x 28 mm


MEDIA REVIEWS

‘An outstanding debut novel … Beautifully phrased and paced, Tess Lewis’s translation delights on every page as she conveys “the contagious sense of liberation” that blows through Mr Seiler’s mesmeric novel.’ - The Economist

‘An important work … in its chronicling of the final days of communism in East Germany … Excellent translation.’ - Adrian Tahourdin, Times Literary Supplement

‘The German poet Lutz Seiler has brought all his art, linguistic ease, flair for dazzling images and mastery of what he describes as “the nervous systems of memory” to this extraordinary debut novel … Kruso is an exciting, expansive work of German literature; it may well prove one of the major novels of the 21st century.’ - Eileen Battersby, The Irish Times

‘A seamless English translation by Tess Lewis … Readers might doubt whether Robinson Crusoe can work in a German setting — they might even feel affronted that it’s been attempted — but Seiler’s novel springs from his own experience in a way that underlines the universality of the tale.’ - Maggie Fergusson, Newsweek

‘This novel set in the historic summer of 1989 is a lighthouse, not an ivory tower.’ - Süddeutsche Zeitung

‘Kruso [is] the first worthy successor to Thomas Mann’s Magic Mountain to appear in contemporary German literature.’ - Der Spiegel

‘Seiler delivers a debut novel with which he manages to catapult himself into the front rank of this country’s authors.’ - Die Zeit

‘Seiler’s novel Kruso shows what German literature can accomplish when it’s fully worked.’ - Welt am Sonntag

‘A special book that will endure.’ - Frankfurter Rundschau

‘A sublime book that is far more than just the novel of the year.’ - Deutschlandradio Kultur

‘That rare treasure — a great novel.’ - Potsdamer Neueste Nachrichten

‘This novel has historical-philosophical dimensions: it is a significant contemplation on different forms of freedom as well as a wonderfully poetic exaltation of a concrete historical event — a truly great book.’ - 3sat Kulturzeit

‘Seiler’s novel is lyrical and powerful in its eloquence. Already he is to be counted among the great contemporary German literary figures.’ - WDR 5

‘A multi-layered philosophical novel that poses a major question to us and to our time: How is freedom possible?’ - Die Zeit

‘Lutz Seiler’s writings trace their roots to Uwe Johnson’s poetry and reflect the German past, present and future beyond the surface of “simple truths” [...] In Kruso, Lutz Seiler visualises the hopes and constraints of a whole country by means of one singular place, Hiddensee, during one short period of time, June to November 1989.’ - from the statement of the Uwe-Johnson-Prize 2014 jury

‘If communism’s final moments are an island of time, Kruso is a bottled message washed up from those distant shores. A strange journey, Seiler’s novel subscribes to island rules, with historicity suspended above and between fevered dreams of perfect community and beguiling freedom.’ - Letitia Montgomery-Rodgers, Foreword Reviews

‘The poetic language and careful expression to the prose in Kruso make for an arresting read too, slightly odd and off-beat, but quite compelling. It's also a novel of big themes — freedom (personal and political), longing (in all its gradations), and mourning, in particular — and the narrative's general sense of drift, with these bobbling up constantly but never overwhelming the story, is particularly well done. A fine, big novel.’ - M.A. Orthofer, The Complete Review

‘Lutz Seiler employs lyrical, sensual language with a hint of magic to describe the summer of 1989 on the island of Hiddensee — a ‘gateway to evanescence’ … One can read this compelling Robinsonade involving the eponymous Kruso and the young dishwasher Edgar as an eloquent tale of both a personal and historic shipwreck — and as a poet’s coming of age novel … Lutz Seiler’s first novel impresses with its thoroughly distinct poetic language, its sensual intensity and its worldliness.’ - Jury comments from the 2014 German Book Prize

‘It is certainly an impressive book worthy of admiration. It sole focus on the lives of an outlying few in the telling of one of modern history’s most significant moments and the close intertwining of their lives with it, without ever directly addressing the politics or historical situation is a feat to behold.’ - Raphael Solarsh, ArtsHub

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