Before the Feast
2017 Longlist

Before the Feast

Translated from the original German by Anthea Bell
artwork-image

ABOUT
THE BOOK

We are sad. We don’t have a ferryman any more. The ferryman is dead. Two lakes, no ferryman. You can’t get to the islands now unless you have a boat. Or unless you are a boat.

It’s the night before the Feast in the village of Fürstenfelde (population: declining), but not everyone is asleep. The local artist, wearing an evening dress and gum-boots, goes down to the lake under cover of darkness. The village archivist is kept awake by ancient tales that threaten to take on a life of their own. A retired lieutenant-colonel weighs his pistol, and his future, in his hand. And eighteen-year-old Anna, namesake of the Feast, prepares to take her place in tomorrow’s drinking and dancing, eating and burning.

On this night of misdeeds and mischief, they are joined by a dead ferryman, a hapless bellringer, a cigarette machine, two robbers in football shirts and a vixen on the hunt – as their fates collide in the most unexpected ways.

ABOUT
THE AUTHOR Saša
Stanišić

Saša Stanišić was born in Višegrad in Bosnia-Herzegovina in 1978, and moved to Germany when he was fourteen. He studied at the Deutsche Literaturinstitut in Leipzig. His first book How the Soldier Repairs the Gramophone became an instant bestseller and was translated into more than 30 languages.

Stanišić has received numerous stipends and prizes: For the short stories in Trappers he was awarded the Rheingau Literature Prize and the Schubart Literature Prize. For Where You Come From he received the German Book Prize 2019, the Adelbert von Chamisso Prize and the Leipzig Book Fair Prize.

Saša Stanišić was born in Višegrad in Bosnia-Herzegovina in 1978, and moved to Germany when he was fourteen. He studied at the Deutsche Literaturinstitut in Leipzig. His first book How the Soldier Repairs the Gramophone became an instant bestseller and was translated into more than 30 languages.

Stanišić has received numerous stipends and prizes: For the short stories in Trappers he was awarded the Rheingau Literature Prize and the Schubart Literature Prize. For Where You Come From he received the German Book Prize 2019, the Adelbert von Chamisso Prize and the Leipzig Book Fair Prize.

ABOUT
THE TRANSLATOR Anthea
Bell

NOMINATING LIBRARY COMMENTS

The highly talented storyteller Saša Stanišić tells the story of a long night before a feast in a village in the Uckermark, a region in Northeastern Germany. The story is a mosaic of the village life. Established residents, strangers, the dead and the living, craftsmen, pensioners and many others – they all want to bring something to a close in the night before the feast. Stanišić switches among styles with a great virtuosity. The novel, outstandingly translated by Anthea Bell, won the prestigious Leipzip Book Fair Prize.

ADDITIONAL INFORMATION

Date published
22/10/2015
Country
Bosnia, Germany
Original Language
German
Publisher
Pushkin Press
Translator
Anthea Bell
Translation
Translated from the original German by Anthea Bell

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