In autumn 2018 my 5-volume and 1000-pages debut-novel Am Weltenrand sitzen die Menschen und lachen ("At the edge of the world man sits and laughs") will be published in German by Suhrkamp Verlag, Berlin.
1000 pages, five volumes - one novel. In "At the edge of the world man sits and laughs" tells about our planet’s transformation in the Anthropocene - the period of earth history, in which man has become the central geological force. Between France and Japan, between the 19th and 21st century, in the form of encyclopedia, manga, novella, audio transcription and notebook, the novel creates a panopticon of our fleeing reality.
Seventeen-year-old Paulette experiences the uprising of the Paris Commune in 1871, travels - as one of the first European women - to Meiji-era Japan and is finally covered under the ice of the french Alps for over 130 years. Climate researcher Chantal, her great-great-granddaughter, follows her tracks to the Far East, writing a cynical history of the universe while escaping love and its inverting power. Jona, left behind, sets off on a search to Japan to find not Chantal but a multiple catastrophe: an earthquake, a tsunami, a nuclear accident. Nine-year-old Akio strays through devastated territory for several days. He finds some comfort in Satoshi, a homeless day laborer and nuclear gypsy slowly dying from the effects of radiation. Driven by a phantom pain, young Japanese Abra wanders through Tokyo and loses herself in the lonely loops of her virtualized self.
NEWS: Awarded with the Literary Prize of the Jürgen Ponto Foundation 2018 and nominated as best german debut novel 2018 (Klaus-Michael Kühne Prize)!
NEWS: "Am Weltenrand sitzen die Menschen und lachen" will be published in french by Éditions du seuil (Paris) in 2020, translated by Olivier Mannoni, translator of e.g. Sigmund Freud, Hannah Arendt, Max Frisch and Stefan Zweig.
© Copyright Philipp Weiss 2017