Esther Kinsky is reading at the Literature Festival in Bergen on February 8!
Kinsky won the Leipzig Book Fair Prize 2018 for HAIN (Suhrkamp) and was shortlisted for the Warwick Prize for Women in Translation with RIVER (Matthes & Seitz). One comparison often made when talking about Kinsky’s works is W.G. Sebald. Rights to her book RIVER have been sold to France (Gallimard), UK/US (Fitzcarraldo), Poland (Biuro Literackie) and Spain (Periférica).
With RIVER Kinsky, the mistress of undertones, has written a wonderfully nostalgic and sanguine novel about the rivers she lived by. Her novel is not only about the River Rhine and the Lea River but also the story of her struggling, finding confidence, looking for life‘s beauty. She explores the old industrial factories at the Rhine riverside, the Jewish life behind London East End, the people living and working at rivers. This is how water becomes an essential metaphor for her own life. It is a novel about life itself. A novel, so profound, that you can read it again and again and if you manage to read between the lines you will get rewarded with a new novel each time.
“ After many years I had excised myself from the life I had led in town, just as one might cut a figure out of a landscape or group photo. Abashed by the harm I had wreaked on the picture left behind, and unsure where the cut-out might end up next, I lived a provisional existence. I did so in a place where I knew none of my neighbours, where the street names, views, smells and faces were all unfamiliar to me, in a cheaply appointed flat where I would be able to lay my life aside.“
Esther Kinsky grew up at the River Rhine and lived in London for twelve years. She is the author of three volumes of poetry and two novelsand has translated many notable English (Henry David Thoreau, Iain Sinclair) and Polish (Joanna Bator, Olga Tokarczuk) authors into German.
Articles in The Guardian und The Economist can be accessed here: