Fiction – Novels, Novellas, Short Stories

Eva Menasse
Tiere für Fortgeschrittene

© Kiepenheuer & Witsch Verlag, Köln, 2017 Eva Menasse: Tiere für Fortgeschrittene © Kiepenheuer & Witsch Verlag, Cologne, 2017Curse or blessing? “It’s been impossible to agree on anything lately,“ complains the hostess, as the old certainties in her circle of friends crumble. Should reports about crimes specify the perpetrators‘ nationality, or is that racist and based on prejudice, as one of them said? (…) Does this controversy indicate, as one guest said, that “we ourselves are moving further and further to the right”? Or can we be glad, like Nora, that conversations “have some substance for a change“? (…)
The question as to whether this is a useful approach and where it ultimately leads provides the external structure for Eva Menasse’s newly-published book of short stories. It is entitled Tiere für Fortgeschrittene (Advanced Studies in Animals) and its chapters have titles such as Caterpillars, Sheep, Snakes or in the case of Nora‘s story, Sharks. Each of the eight texts is headed by a short scientific report about animals. They are about ducks that are able to keep a lookout for predators even when they are asleep, a man who tries to give the kiss of life to an opossum that has been run over or butterflies that refresh themselves on crocodile tears. (…) The book’s plus points include vignettes of family entanglements, dependencies between generations and within partnerships - the shifting sands of attaching oneself to another person when one does not know for how long and how seriously the other person is willing to reciprocate.

Meike Fessmann: „Wer die Ente stört“
© Süddeutsche Zeitung, 21 March 2017

Eva Menasse
Tiere für Fortgeschrittene
Kiepenheuer & Witsch Verlag, Cologne, 2017
ISBN 9783462047912
317 pages


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