Goldfischgedächtnis (Goldfish Memory)

Hardcover , 21 x 13 cm
192 pages
€ 19.00


Everything in these stories revolves around plot; after the first few lines Schwitter’s characters become vivid and lively; her sentences are simple and unadorned. And they are definitely plots worth telling: Most of the stories deal with encounters: an incredibly touching and artful narration about a writer who brings her dead friend back to life by letting her dictate the story; the little boy’s horror when his Halloween wishes actually come true; the experiences of a waitress with her guests at closing time… Monique Schwitter creates an almost physical intensity between reader and text that betrays her skilful eye, her rapt ear and her acute sense of the comic.

Rights sold to:
English (Parthian)
Frensh (Edition d’en Bas)
Slovenian (LUD Literatura)
Russian (Text Publishers)


»Whoever picks up these stories and believes in the powerful images they create will realize that they touch the very core of our existence.« (Wiener Zeitung)

»A book you just won’t want to put down.« (Tiroler Tageszeitung)

»An author who has found a literary tone that calls for attention. Wondrously imaginative stories that tell the reader how powerfully fresh, at times tongue-in-cheek bold, how breathtakingly pretty and pretty complicated life is.« (jury rating for the grant of the Neumayer Foundation 2011)

»Vertigo is the title of one of the stories in Monique Schwitter’s collection Goldfischgedächtnis (Goldfish Memory). And you might well become dizzy when you read these unusual short stories. Are they true or not? ›Whether this story is true, I don’t know, but I’ve heard it so often, I can’t imagine it wouldn’t be.‹ In the fifteen stories making up this collection, the characters often find themselves on shaky ground. Things are not easy for them: on the contrary. In the end all they want is a secure place in an insecure world. These stories are above all about the struggle to survive. The characters take things to extremes, to where tragedy and comedy, hope and hopelessness, life and death, clash. A man sits in a hotel room and reads and reads, until reading takes over his life and becomes more real than reality. A small boy is shocked when his father grants his Halloween wishes. An actress complains that she remembers all the lines of all the parts she has ever had to learn in her life: ›I’ve forgotten the technique of forgetting my lines!‹ She is forced to remember everything. Remembering and forgetting are recurring themes in these intricately crafted stories.« (12 SWISS BOOKS, recommended for translation by PRO HELVETIA)