A spellbinding short story collection by one of Austria’s most critically acclaimed authors.
A man becomes obsessed with observing his neighbours. A large family gathers for Christmas only to wait for the one member who never turns up. An old woman lures a man into her house where he finds dolls resembling himself as a boy. Mesmerizing and haunting stories about loss of identity in the modern world.
Why Peirene chose to publish this book: ‘I love Kafka and here we have a Kafkaesque sense of alienation – not to mention narrative experiments galore! Outwardly normal events slip into drama before they tip into horror. These oblique tales exert a fascinating hold over the reader.’ Meike Ziervogel
‘Clever and enticing.’ Alexander Starritt, Times Literary Supplement
‘Not since Julio Cortázar's game of Hopscotch . . . has an author so daringly undertaken to challenge the reader.’ Amanda Hopkinson, Independent
‘It is . . . very refreshing to be confronted by stories which so firmly refuse to yield to conventional interpretation.’ Nicholas Lezard, Guardian
‘This award-winning collection by the Austrian writer Alois Hotschnig drew comparisons with Kafka. But Hotschnig’s quietly terrifying voice is all his own.’ Jane Shilling, Daily Mail
‘Intriguing and powerful.’ Pam Norfolk, Lancashire Evening Post
GUARDIAN PAPERBACKS OF THE YEAR 2011