Having spent her childhood and youth in Central Europe at a time when the political and cultural structures of the region were being reorganized, Ilma Rakusa traces memories of herself as a little girl in these recollections. Daughter to a Slovenian father and a Hungarian mother, she lives in a succession of places, first in a small Slovenian town, then in Budapest, Ljubljana, Trieste, Zurich, and, moving further to the East and West, in Leningrad/Saint Petersburg and Paris.
Used to being a foreigner, to not quite belonging, she resorts at a very early stage in her life to music, to playing the piano, and, upon the discovery of Dostojewsky, to literature, but also to movement, displacement, travelling.
Ilma Rakusa approaches her early life quite unsentimentally and without the eagerness of a confessor but instead with great accuracy in the difficult field of the atmospheric – which she grounds with her concise and precise style. This collection of memories evokes the 1950s and 1960s from the prismatic perspective of an extraordinary writer who, like few, lives in and between different cultures.
Rights sold to:
French (Édition d’en bas)
Ukrainian (V. Books XXI LTD)
Polish (OD DO)
Swiss Book Prize 2009
»A book that celebrates the senses.« (Spiegel ONLINE)
»An autobiographical declaration of love … Mehr Meer is a book of restlessness, full to the brim with colours, sounds and images that mark out a life in transit.« (Neue Zürcher Zeitung)