ARNON GRUNBERG - BIRTHMARKS (2016)

ABOUT THE BOOK

Otto Kadoke works as a psychiatrist at a crisis center: his task is to keep people with a death wish alive. One day, when he visits his old, needy mother, one of her Nepalese caretakers opens the door wearing nothing but a bathroom towel. The psychiatrist, always bend on sticking to protocol, is overwhelmed by feelings of love for the girl; as a consequence, from now on he will have to arrange taking care of his mother by himself.

Kadoke has no children, is middle aged, but not unattractive to physicians in training: he has managed to seduce several of them. After yet another transgressive encounter - this time with a suicidal young woman – both Kadoke’s professional and private life start falling apart: his mother’s house is turned into an outpatient crisis center.

Birthmarks is a ruthless novel about a son’s love for his mother and father, and vice versa. A book about two people unable to live – or die – without each other. It marks a new phase in Arnon Grunberg’s comprehensive authorship: care and love no longer exclude each other. Despite loss and pain, a love for life seems possible.

 

GOOD TO KNOW

• An overwhelming novel about a son’s love for his mother (and vice versa), about two people condemned to each other, unable to live (or die) without each other. A crushing blow

• Rave reviews in the Dutch press (see quotes below), 50000 copies in print

Birthmarks was published on Mother's Day (may 8th) in Holland and Belgium

• We have prepared a sample in English, and we translated a review, an interview and a translated essay by Arnon about his experiences in a psychiatric ward in Belgium

Birthmarks is currently shortlisted for the Libris Literature Prize 2017 (winner will be announced may 8th) and was shortlisted for the ECI Literature Prize 

• Translations will be subsidized by Nederlands Letterenfonds

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Arnon Grunberg (1971) is one of the most widely read young European writers today. His provocative and razor sharp books have won almost all major Dutch awards and have been translated into more than twenty languages. He lives and works in New York. Lebowski previously published two other novels by Arnon Grunberg: The Jewish Messiah and Our Uncle.

 

RIGHTS SOLD BIRTHMARKS (2016)

• Germany (Kiepenheuer & Witsch)

• Brazil (Radio Londres)

• Czech Republic (Dybbuk)

• France (Editions Héloise D'Ormesson)

• Hungary (Gondolat)

• Italy (Bompiani)

 

 

RIGHTS SOLD tHE JEWISH MESSIAH (2004)

• Germany (Diogenes)

• France (D'Ormesson)

• Italy (Instar Libri)

• Spain (Tusquets)

• Portugal (Bico de Peno)

• Hungary (Ulpius)

• Turkey (Alef)

• USA (Penguin Press)


RIGHTS SOLD OUR UNCLE (2008)

• Germany (Diogenes)

• France (D'Ormesson)

 

QUOTES (BIRTHMARKS)

‘An ode to life’ - Het Parool ****

‘Perfect, complete and moving’ - De Volkskrant ****

‘What Grunberg describes here is a generational ban on happiness’ - NRC Handelsblad ****

‘It is hard not to love this book’ - Hebban.nl

‘This novel is a highlight in Grunberg’s oeuvre. His style, based on paradox, the litany and the repetition, is glistening here. It works. It keeps the emotions at bay and at the same time makes you realize it does, which makes it all the more moving.’ - De Groene Amsterdammer

‘Grunberg reveals his true self to us’ - Knack *****

‘A stylistic tour de force, a relief, and already one of my favourite Grunberg’s ever.’ - HUMO ****

‘A degenerate homage to the relationship between mother and son’ - Standaard der Letteren ****

‘Grunberg imprisons his reader, there is no bigger compliment for his writing’ - Trouw

 

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CONTACT

The Arnon Grunberg Agency:

Oscar van Gelderen (Lebowski Publishers) 

Mobile: + 31 6 46096823

E: oscar@arnongrunbergagency.com

Janny Nijhof (Nijgh & Van Ditmar) 

Mobile: + 31 6 53177903

E: janny@arnongrunbergagency.com