In a big house full of children a girl grows up, just like all the others. But instead of dolls, she is interested in water beetles; and the fact that it’s always men who cook on TV confuses her. Gradually she comes of age – diet crazes, sexual adventures, anger, longing, disorientation and self-doubt included. She lets herself drift, from school to university to work, from relationship to relationship – constantly looking for her destiny »as a woman«, behind which she suspects (and fears) a vague notion of motherhood. Everyone seems to be preoccupied with procreating and nothing else. But so much indecisiveness is bound to wreak havoc before too long.
Gertraud Klemm’s debut at Droschl is a novel brimming with vibrancy, casting a clear and alert look at old and new gender roles. Its wit and humour never drown out the seriousness of the situation – namely the inertia, the pressure of the internal constraints and neuroses, and the hopelessness when nothing turns out as planned…
With Heartmilk, Gertraud Klemm presents an impressive debut novel, revisiting this well-known hot potato with original and merciless verve.
»Klemm tackles the topic of being a woman with surprising courage, fierce determination and humour, and lends it a light, witty but at times oppressive freshness.« (Herbert Först, Literaturhaus Wien)