Down the Elbe
- date of publication: 17.08.2020
- 208 Pages
- Hanser Verlag
- ISBN 978-3-446-26755-8
- Deutschland: 22,00 €
- Österreich: 22,70 €
- E-Book ISBN 978-3-446-26852-4
- E-Book Deutschland: 8,99 €
How do you come to terms with the place you grew up in when it feels foreign to you?
A novel about our Country
After years away, a young couple returns to the strange rocky landscape of the Sächsische Schweiz. The desire to start afresh in the place where they spent their childhoods puts them on a collision course with their home town and leads to a new feeling of alienation. What happens to the individual in a society which rejects everything that’s different?
Is it just homesickness that has driven them back? The narrator keeps it a secret from his girlfriend Christina, also he feels guilty towards Vito, the school friend who lost a leg during a climbing trip together. He now returns to this place, recalling formative moments in his life: the accident, the public shaming at school during the raising of the socialist flag, his decision to break away. But his first attempt at reconciliation fails.
Thilo Krause’s debut novel tells the story of a couple returning to a setting that feels foreign to them. He casts his eye across a landscape of apple trees and Elbe meadows, but also neo-Nazi summer camps. Ultimately, the couple’s fresh start is threatened by the distrust of the villagers. A powerful novel about Germany and the times we live in.
“This is wonderful news for German-language literature. Out of silence emerges an accomplished storyteller, and an author, far away from charming Limmat, proves that he is a master of pauses, observation and articulation.”
- Eberhard Geisler, Frankfurter Rundschau
“Krause has mastered the art of psychological narration without trying to dissect the past. Everything is succinct, a given, discernable, but without having to be commented on, explained or put into formulas. The result is a prose text of simple poetic beauty. It’s not the plot that makes it come alive, but the cadence, rhythm and style.”
- Alexander Košenina, Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung
“‘Even though there has never been a flood, everything has been destroyed.’ This is the final sentence of a novel that brilliantly combines the poetic and the political. And which, for all its bitterness, adds a few shades of light”.
- Karin Großmann, Sächsische Zeitung
“This novel is far more political than it seems at first glance. The circumstances surrounding the first-person narrator’s return to his roots make him question his dreams and longings more closely. As a consequence, he has reset his biography to zero too. A remarkable book.”
- Helmut Böttiger, Deutschlandfunk Kultur Lesart
“What is unusual and risky in this remarkable novel is how political and emotional or subjective strands are linked. It’s an aesthetic tightrope walk without the usual safeguards.”
- Helmut Böttiger, Süddeutsche Zeitung
France (Editions Zoé) Croatia (Antìpōd)