In 1706, Meinrad Gwerder, a high-ranking and respected official, marries Anna Schmidig, a woman from beyond the valley. At first the villagers are perplexed by his choice, the more so as the woman is visibly handicapped. But her open and cheerful nature helps to overcome suspicion, and her ?wild and unruly laughter?, as it says later in the transcripts of testimonies, is at first interpreted positively. But after the death of her husband, the mood in the valley changes. Anna, they say, has taken too many liberties: opening a general store, something no one has dared before, let alone a woman. Entertaining soldiers, hiring girls from the village, doing business…And yet she has always remained independent, kept her distance. With great literary skills, Schriber keeps the reader in breathless suspense as this dark tale progresses.
»Margit Schriber has always been a sophisticated story-teller and observer of human fallibility… The effect is both liberating and oppressive.« – Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung
The Witch's Laugh
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