Somewhere deep in the European forest they meet. Frontier workers, smugglers, refugees, workers, asylum seekers, inspectors, artists, musicians, actors, journalists, scholarship holders, logisticians, students, and ghosts. They come from everywhere. They are all representatives of our time, and they have conversations about origins and justice; body and state; import and export; homeland and migration. They talk together about happiness, music, and death. In Shift Sleepers, Swiss writer Dorothee Elmiger has produced a novel that sheds light on the controversial issues of our time, finding a new language for this conversation previously unheard in contemporary German literature.
‘Imagine a novel that exists on the threshold. A performance art piece rendered in writing. With a cast of characters who bring their memories, experiences and unbound images weaving in and out of one another’s stories, through accounts that are sometimes offered within reported letters or phone calls, even though that same character is also apparently present. Or perhaps not. . . . This is a story about questions, not answers, about the personal concerns about our lives, bodies and relationships that are ever evolving, and the broader issues—migration, justice, and global trade—that threaten our ability to share this planet.’—J. M. Schreiber, Roughghosts. Read the extensive review here.
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