Luscher_Jonas_Kraft
2022 Longlist

Kraft

Translated from the German by Tess Lewis
artwork-image

ABOUT
THE BOOK

Richard Kraft, a German professor of rhetoric and aging Reaganite and Knight Rider fan, is unhappily married and badly in debt. He sees no way out of his rut until he is invited to participate in a competition to be held in California, sponsored by a Silicon Valley tycoon and “techno-optimist.” The contest is to answer a literal “million-dollar question”: each competitor must compose an eighteen-minute lecture on why our world is still, despite all evidence, the best of all possible worlds, and how we might improve it even further through technology.

Entering into a surreal American landscape, Kraft soon finds what’s left of his life falling to pieces as he struggles to justify as “best” a planet in the hands of such blithe neoliberal cupidity as he encounters on his odyssey to California. Still, with the prize money in his pocket, perhaps Kraft could finally buy his way to a new life. But what contortions—physical and philosophical—will he have to subject himself to in order to claim it?

Jonas Lüscher’s second novel, Kraft, is a hilarious and wicked tale about a man facing the ruins of his life, and his world.

 

ABOUT
THE AUTHOR Jonas
Lüscher

Jonas Lüscher was born in Switzerland in 1976, and now lives in Munich. His bestselling debut novel, Barbarian Spring, was long-listed for the German Book Prize and nominated for the Swiss Book Prize. It has been translated into twenty languages and was adapted for the stage. Kraft was ranked first in the February 2017 “SWR Bestenliste,” and went on to win the Swiss Book Prize in 2017.

Jonas Lüscher was born in Switzerland in 1976, and now lives in Munich. His bestselling debut novel, Barbarian Spring, was long-listed for the German Book Prize and nominated for the Swiss Book Prize. It has been translated into twenty languages and was adapted for the stage. Kraft was ranked first in the February 2017 “SWR Bestenliste,” and went on to win the Swiss Book Prize in 2017.

ABOUT
THE TRANSLATOR Tess
Lewis

Tess Lewis is a writer and translator from French and German. Her translations include works by Christine Angot, Philippe Jaccottet, and Peter Handke. Her recent awards include the 2017 PEN Translation Prize and a Guggenheim Fellowship. She is co-chair of the PEN America Translation Committee and an Advisory Editor for The Hudson Review.

Tess Lewis is a writer and translator from French and German. Her translations include works by Christine Angot, Philippe Jaccottet, and Peter Handke. Her recent awards include the 2017 PEN Translation Prize and a Guggenheim Fellowship. She is co-chair of the PEN America Translation Committee and an Advisory Editor for The Hudson Review.

NOMINATING LIBRARY COMMENTS

An entertainingly evil novel: Richard Kraft, the eponymous hero and a professor of rhetoric, participates in a competition to answer a literal million-dollar-question that could free him from his misery. A satire on neoliberal values and the merits of technology.

– Zentralbibliothek Zürich, Switzerland

ADDITIONAL INFORMATION

Date published
10/11/2020
Country
Germany
Original Language
German
Publisher
Farrar, Straus and Giroux
Translator
Tess Lewis
Translation
Translated from the German by Tess Lewis

RELATED FEATURES

Video May 8 2024

Alexis Wright – Praiseworthy Q&A

Q&A with Alexis Wright, one of the six shortlisted authors for the 2024 Dublin Literary Award in which she discusses her passion for libraries and explores the influences behind her novel Praiseworthy
Video May 8 2024

Mircea Cărtărescu – Solenoid Q&A

Q&A with Mircea Cărtărescu, one of the six shortlisted authors for the 2024 Dublin Literary Award for his novel Solenoid
Video May 8 2024

Emma Donoghue – Haven Q&A

Q&A with Emma Donoghue, one of the six shortlisted authors for the 2024 Dublin Literary Award for her novel Haven
Video May 8 2024

Suzette Mayr – The Sleeping Car Porter Q&A

Q&A with Suzette Mayr, one of the six shortlisted authors for the 2024 Dublin Literary Award for her novel The Sleeping Car Porter

STAY CONNECTED

Stay in touch and sign up to our newsletter to receive all the latest news and updates on the Dublin Literary Award.