A wife is suspended in a bird cage; a thirteenth-century visionary senses the foreskin of Christ on her tongue: Fleur Jaeggy's gothic imagination knows no limits. Whether telling of mystics, tormented families or famously private writers, Jaeggy's terse, telegraphic writing is always psychologically clear-eyed and deeply moving, always one step ahead, or to the side, of her readers' expectations.
In this, her long-awaited return, we read of an 'eerie maleficent calm, a brutal calm', and recognise the timbre of a writer for whom a paradoxical world seethes with quiet violence.
Translated into about twenty languages, Jaeggy is a true original of European writing. The Times Literary Supplement named her novel S. S. Proleterka as a Best Book of the Year, and she won the Premio Bagutta and the Premio Speciale Rapallo awards for Sweet Days of Discipline.