Linda Stift

The Empress and the Cake

Madness lurks behind the pretty façade of everyday life.
An elderly lady offers a young woman a piece of cake. She accepts. The lady resembles the Austrian Empress Elisabeth and lives with her servant in an apartment full of bizarre souvenirs. More invitations follow. A seemingly harmless visit to the museum turns into a meticulously planned raid to steal a royal cocaine syringe. Without realizing, the young woman has become the lady’s accomplice. Does she realize she is losing control?
Why Peirene chose to publish this book: 'On the surface this is a clever thriller-cum-horror story of three women and their descent into addiction, crime and madness. And at times it’s very funny. But don’t be fooled. The book also offers an exploration of the way the mind creates its own realities and — quite often — deludes us into believing that we control what is actually controlling us. Uncanny, indeed.' Meike Ziervogel
‘Linda Stift breaks the world down into frightening fragments. Impressive.’ taz
'Such a wicked psychothriller can only come from Vienna.’ KulturSPIEGEL
‘The reader finds themselves in the situation of Kafka’s Josef K: drifting towards the inevitable.’ Literaturkritik.de
172 printed pages
Original publication
2016
Publisher
Peirene Press
Translator
Jamie Bulloch

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