The Discomfort of Evening
*WINNER OF THE BOOKER INTERNATIONAL PRIZE 2020*: this sensational Dutch bestseller is ‘a classic‘ (Max Porter)
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*WINNER OF THE BOOKER INTERNATIONAL PRIZE 2020*
*ONE OF THE GUARDIAN’S BEST BOOKS OF 2020*
*A NYT CRITICS’ TOP BOOK OF 2020*
‘One of the best debut novels I have ever read. Shockingly good … A classic.’ Max Porter
‘Haunting . . . reminded me a lot of Iain Bank. It’s incredible that it’s a debut.’ Douglas Stuart
The sensational Dutch bestseller:
‘Exceptional’ (Financial Times)
‘Beautifully wild’ (Guardian)
‘An earthy and irreverent new voice, thrillingly uninhibited’ (New York Times)
I asked God if he please couldn’t take my brother Matthies instead of my rabbit. ‘Amen.’
Ten-year-old Jas has a unique way of experiencing her universe: the feeling of udder ointment on her skin as protection against harsh winters; the texture of green warts, like capers, on migrating toads; the sound of ‘blush words’ that aren’t in the Bible. But when a tragic accident ruptures the family, her curiosity warps into a vortex of increasingly disturbing fantasies – unlocking a darkness that threatens to derail them all.
A bestselling sensation in the Netherlands, Marieke Lucas Rijneveld’s radical debut novel is studded with images of wild, violent beauty: a world of language unlike any other, exquisitely captured in Michele Hutchison’s translation.
‘THE MOST TALKED ABOUT DEBUT NOVEL OF 2020 ALREADY’ [Dazed & Confused]
ONE OF VOGUE’S TOP FIVE DEBUTS OF 2020
ONE OF THE OBSERVER’S HIGHLIGHTS OF 2020
ONE OF THE GUARDIAN’S TOP TEN BEST NEW BOOKS IN TRANSLATION
One of the best debut novels I have ever read. Shockingly good. Utterly unforgettable ... A classic.
Few reading experiences are more thrilling than a first novel that feels urgent and original. In the past decade, Teju Cole and Garth Greenwell both had these qualities ... As exhilarating a debut as I can remember.
Intensely raw, shockingly graphic, and memorable ... Rijneveld has created something exceptional.
Translator Michele Hutchison deftly switches between registers and gives Jas a strong, unique voice ... Poetic, mannered language, realistic bleakness and descent into surreal darkness ... Compelling ... Fascinating characters and themes.
Translated by Michele Hutchison, Rijneveld’s writing is raw and impassive, though often grotesquely vivid ... A pretty remarkable debut. Confident in its brutality, yet contained rather than gratuitous, it introduces readers to both a memorably off-key narrator and a notable new talent.
An earthy and irreverent new voice, thrillingly uninhibited in style and subject matter ... The novel teems — I say this admiringly — with all the filth of life ... Even now, my blood jumps to remember certain images ... I went to it every day [with] gratitude ... The spaciousness of Rijneveld’s imagination comes as terror and solace.
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