Klaus Hoffer: Among the Bieresch

translated by Isabel Fargo Cole

Young Hans arrives with one suitcase in a squalid village on the eastern edge of empire – a surreal postwar Austria. His uncle has died, and according to the tradition required by his people – the Bieresch – Hans must assume his uncle’s place for one year. In a series of interactions with the village’s tragicomic characters and their contradictory stories and scriptures, the reluctant Hans must face a world both familiar and alien.

The novel is a German cult favourite and a masterwork of culture-shock fiction that revels in exploring oppressive cultural baggage and assimilation.

German original published by Literaturverlag Dröschl, Graz / Wien, under the title Bei den Bieresch in 2007.