You Should Have Left
A chilling story of marital struggle and psychological disturbance from a master of modern European literature
On retreat in the wintry Alps with his family, a writer is optimistic about completing the sequel to his breakthrough film. Nothing to disturb him except the wind whispering around their glassy house. The perfect place to focus.
Intruding on that peace of mind, the demands of his four-year-old daughter splinter open long-simmering arguments with his wife. I love her, he writes in the notebook intended for his script. Why do we fight all the time?
Guilt and expectation strain his concentration, and strain, too, at the walls of the house. They warp under his watch; at night, looking through the window, he sees impossible reflections on the snow outside.
Then the words start to appear in his notebook; the words he didn’t write.
Familiar and forbidding by turns, this is an electrifying experiment in form by one of Europe’s boldest writers.
NOMINATING LIBRARY COMMENTS
A curious and scary novella, finely translated, with a cleverly suggestive atmosphere.
A successful screenwriter and his family have rented a quiet holiday home for a few days but the ideas for his new project are increasingly being suppressed by irritating perceptions and strange occurrences in the house. Daniel Kehlmann’s novel begins as the story of a marital crisis and turns into a horror story.