Mariana Leky’s WHAT WE CAN SEE FROM HERE (Dumont, 2017) has been an absolute phenomenon in Germany. Now it is finally out in the North: in Danish (Forlaget Olga) and in Swedish (Thorén & Lindskog) translation.

Voted “Independent Bookseller’s Favourite Novel 2017”, DuMont has now sold an incredible 300.000 copies of Mariana Leky’s WHAT WE CAN SEE FROM HERE ! World English rights only recently sold to Farrar, Straus & Giroux.

  • the book has been on the bestseller list for 2 years now (!!!), finished as #12 on the annual list for 2017 and #7 on the bestseller list for 2018
  • rights sold to: The Netherlands (Nieuw Amsterdam); France (JC Lattès); Hungary (Tericum); Italy (Keller Editore); Korea (Taurus Books); Sweden (Thorén & Lindskog), Turkey (Palto), World English (FSG), World Spanish (Planeta), Denmark (Olga)

When Selma said she’d dreamed of an okapi that night we were certain one of us would die within the next twenty-four hours. We were almost right. It was twenty-eight hours. Death entered with a slight delay, and it literally entered, coming in through the front door. Perhaps it was late because it hesitated for a long time, beyond the last moment.

A book about love in a state of absence: clever, touching and brilliantly humorous. – A GREAT LOVE IN THE WESTERWALD

Selma, an elderly resident of the Westerwald, can foresee death – someone in the village always dies the day after the okapi appears in her dreams. However, the dreams never reveal who is going to die. As you can imagine, the span of time between dream and death exists as a state of emergency for everybody in the village – and in her novel, Mariana Leky describes the fear of the local residents, what they blindly risk, admit, destroy, or bring into order. Yet that is not everything, by far.

What You Can See From Here is the portrait of a village and its residents. But above all it is a novel about love in the state of absence, as the various “objects of desire” have a strong tendency to withdraw (or at least, to not respond in a manner acceptable to the other individuals involved). As does incredibly handsome Frederik, Luise’s great love. Luise, Selma’s granddaughter, is the heroine and narrator of the novel.

Frederik decided to move to Japan and to live in a cloister as a Buddhist monk, returning to the village and Luise only for a few weeks every winter. Each time – winter after winter – Luise is hoping for him to stay for good. But words like “forever” are not frequently said in a place over which the Sword of Damocles is hovering in form of the okapi dream….

A Masterpiece!” Ariane Heimbach, BRIGITTE WOMAN

This is a triumph of literature.“ Rüdiger Safranski, SRF Literaturclub

Why should you read a book like this? The answer is simple: because Mariana Leky wrote it, and because her writing will make you drop to your knees. (…) It contains many themes – friendship and love, courage and despair, habit and change, life and death. But you should read it, above all, to be amazed by Mariana Leky’s terrific art of language, over and over again” Katharina Mahrenholtz, NDR

In What You Can See from Here, Mariana Leky has succeeded in writing probably one of the most uplifting books of the year. On every page, there are at least three sentences that you have to underline, copy out or read to someone else.” Judith Liere, STERN

This is a wonderful, clever, amusing and profound book.” Manuela Reichart, DEUTSCHLANDFUNKKULTUR

This is a novel that creeps up on you very quietly, only to take you in its grip and not let you go until the end. [After reading], you miss Leky’s characters from, because despite all the novel’s fantastic elements, they seem real in a way that is rarely found in literature.” Meike Schnitzler, BRIGITTE.

It is one of those books that has the potential to make you happy. Never kitschy, never superficial. Wise and sensitive and with passionate love for language.” – Bianca Schwarz, HR 2 Kultur

Only seldom I have read such a funny and at the same time profound book. Such books are rare. They make you think about the peculiarities and small wonders of life – like the sight of an Okapi.” Thomas Böhm, RADIOEINS

One of the best books of this year.” Nicola Steiner, SRF 1 BuchZeichen