This „Sommer Book“ recommendation is from Sarah Hemens, Project Director of New Books in German. "New Books in German" promotes German-language literature for translation into English in the UK, USA, and beyond. ☀️ Her book tip is "Tanners Erde" by Lukas Maisel (Rowohlt, 2022).
"I have chosen an allegorical novella by the Swiss author Lukas Maisel. It's called Tanners Erde, and our jury chose it this year as suitable for an international audience. This means that financial help for an English translation is guaranteed if a publisher buys the rights. The book tells the moving story of a farmer, Tanner. His quiet, if hardworking, life is thrown into confusion and despair when two large holes appear in his fields. Tanner wonders if the holes are a punishment or an omen. Failing to find help from the priest, the mayor, or the local community, he becomes alienated from all he knows. The ominous opening pages describe how Tanner is unable to milk a cow because it has mastitis. I was drawn into the events in this village in the Swiss Alps and keen to see how things would end for Tanner and his wife, Marie. The book communicates the realities of farming – the challenging work and the regulations and financial pressures that come with it. Tanner's care for his animals is affecting; he knows his cows by name and rewards them with a bottle of red wine after they've calved.
Reading Tanner's Earth made me think about how frequently we are disconnected from the natural world, how much we still do not grasp, and how often we mistakenly believe we are in charge."
Book Synopsis: Ein kleiner Hof im Schweizer Voralpenland. Ein Leben von zeitloser Einfachheit. Doch dann geschieht, was hier noch nie geschah. Dies ist die Geschichte des Bauern Tanner und seiner Frau, die buchstäblich an den Rand ihrer Welt geraten. Ihr Hof mit den paar Kühen wirft gerade genug zum Leben ab. Doch dann tun sich in seinem Land, völlig unerklärlich, zwei riesige, bodenlose Löcher auf. Sind sie Omen, Strafe, Zufall? Tanner will erst keine Hilfe annehmen, er will das Richtige tun und tut deshalb das Falsche. Er muss zusehen, wie sein einfaches, stilles Leben auseinanderfällt. (Rowohlt, 2022)