The Pollen Room
Zoë Jenny was born in Basel in 1974. In 1997 she published her successful novel Das Blütenstaubzimmer (English: The Pollen Room), for which she has received numerous awards, including the “aspekte” literature award of the ZDF broadcasting company in the category “Best Prose Debut of the Year” and the literature award of the Jürgen Ponto Foundation. She has also written Der Ruf des Muschelhorns and Ein schnelles Leben, as well as the children’s book Mittelpünktchens Reise um die Welt. Her books have been translated into many languages. Today the author lives in London.
- Das Portrait, 2007
- Ein schnelles Leben, 2002
- Mittelpünktchens Reise um die Welt, 2001
- Der Ruf des Muschelhorns, 2000
- Das Blütenstaubzimmer, (English: The Pollen Room), 1997
The Pollen Room
“Writing in order to stay wide awake and survive.” Direct, precise prose that is full of poetry and tells of the disillusionment and scepticism of a new generation. A young woman embarks on a journey, leaving her father in order to find her mother. But the journey leads to her inevitable parting from both parents.
Jo, the protagonist of the novel, has just graduated from school. She spontaneously decides to go visit her mother in the southern country where she lives with her new husband. The two women have not seen each other for 12 years, and their reunion turns out to be a difficult one. Jo stays with her mother for two whole years, much longer than she had planned, in the home of Alois, the melancholy painter. When Alois dies in a traffic accident and her mother locks herself into the “pollen room” as though she wants to bury herself alive, Jo is the only one who can save her. But the two women do not develop a closer relationship. Disillusioned and repelled by the lies that adults live with, Jo completes her separation step by step. Like a snake shedding its skin, she casts off the world of her childhood.