Jan Brandt: against the world

translated by Katy Derbyshire

Set in the East Frisia region of Germany in the mid 1970’s, this novel tells the story of Daniel Kuper, the nominal heir to a drugstore dynasty, and his struggle to free himself from the petty suspicions and violence of small-town life. A delicate, secretive boy with too much imagination and too few opportunities, he becomes the target of outrage and fear when strange phenomena convulse the town: snowfall in summer, inexplicable corn circles, a boy dead under the wheels of a train, swastikas crudely daubed on walls. Fingers point, and they single out Kuper. The more he tries to prove his innocence, the more fierce the accusations become, until his only option is open war against the village and its inhabitants – against the world.
An unforgettable debut, this is an epic account of growing up an outsider, and the pain, violence and betrayal that accompany exclusion.
German original published by DuMont Buchverlag, Cologne, under the title Gegen die Welt in 2011.