His Finnish fans have found their summer read already: Lurra Editions just published Alain Claude Sulzer’s latest novel, UNTENABLE CIRCUMSTANCES (Galiani Berlin), which was on the shortlist to the Swiss Book Award 2019. In it, Sulzer tells the story of a man whose rebellion against changing times throws him off balance.
After being hidden behind paper for two days, the Quatre Saisons’ seven huge display windows are ceremoniously unveiled – showcasing the long-established store’s merchandise in a new light. These are the moments that the window dresser Stettler lives and works for – and has been for several decades. Now, just into his 60s, he is unexpectedly assigned a younger colleague to work by his side – a rival, his intended successor, an enemy!
Stettler’s world begins to crumble. The year is 1968, and everything else is also crumbling. Young people wear jeans and no longer have any manners, and a Vietcong flag suddenly hangs from the church tower in Munster. Stettler is horrified. Feeling increasingly threatened, he even starts spying on his rival, out for revenge. For Stettler, it’s also an uphill battle against time and age, which he is bound to lose. Only an exchange of letters with Lotte Zerbst, a radio-pianist he admires, makes him feel less lost. And he hopes that it might even lead to a meeting between them someday…
»Sulzer’s novel is clever and delicate, linguistically precise and wonderfully told.« – Ruth von Gunten, Swiss Revue
»Delicate, almost old-fashioned, told very precisely and revealingly.« – Elke Heidenreich, WDR
»Alain Claude Sulzer has written a clever, fine-tuned and undoubtedly devilish novel that has the literary power to make visible what change can mean for the individual – in the past and in the present.« – Felix Münger, SRF 2 Culture
Alain Claude Sulzer has received numerous awards for his work, including the Prix Médicis Étranger, the Hermann Hesse Prize and the City of Basel Culture Award. He is the author of YOUTH IS A STRANGE COUNTRY (2017), POSTSKRIPTUM (2015) and OUT OF TUNE (2012) which was shortlisted for the Swiss Book Award 2012 and sold to France: Actes Sud/Jacqueline Chambon / Italy: Sellerio / Netherlands: Ambo Anthos / Slovakia: Kalligram / Spain: Acantilado / UK: Thames.