Roland Zoss

The Island Beyond the Moon

An award-winning story about one of the remote Aeolian islands off Sicily/Italy, a volcanic

archipelago which is a UNESCO World Heritage Area. First published in German in Switzerland.

What happens when a 23-year old student takes his books and leaves Switzerland for the

south of Italy? He finds an island of 9.5 square kilometers, which others have left in

search of work in Australia, Argentina and the USA.

The villages on this island are like ruined ghost towns covered in ferns. Geckoes and

snakes live in the houses. The student works alongside the last inhabitants through winter

storms and earthquakes. He makes wine and bakes bread. He lives with very little money

on the borderline of civilization in a cavern in the mountain. Roaming a wild, untouched nature.

One morning he is standing on a mountain in front of a ruin and has the strange feeling of

having come home. On the very same day, a contract is signed. The poet of the island

sells the ruin to the poet from Northern Europe. Together they plant a palm-tree.

That is the end of the dream of a house on the island. And the beginning of reality. A true


In 1993 Roland Zoss received a literary award from the City of Berne for this little book,

which was first published in German. «The author transforms language into perfumes and

sounds, into impressions and landscapes, with intense and stunning pictures.»
113 printed pages


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