Sold to Norway: Leif Randt’s ALLEGRO PASTEL

Leif Randt’s ALLEGRO PASTEL (Kiepenheuer & Witsch spring 2020) was published to a symphony of praising reviews here in Germany. Now, Aschehoug in Norway pre-empted the Norwegian rights to this modern love story that begins in the record-breaking hot spring of 2018.

  • rights so far sold to Croatia: Vuković & Runjić / Macedonia: TRI Publishing Centre / Netherlands: Leesmagazijn / Serbia: Blum izdavaštvo / Norway: Aschehoug
  • Shortlisted for the Prize of the Leipzig Book Fair 2020
  • Shortlisted for the European Prize for Literature 2020
  • picked by New Books in German (spring issue)

»Allegro Pastel is definitely one of the most important books of contemporary German literature since Christian Kracht’s Faserland. No millennial will be able to write a novel in the future without relating to Allegro Pastel. This novel has no weakness of form – and that this is also quite scary is part of its aesthetic program. Like Matrix, one searches for weaving errors in the reality continuum. [… ]  Leif Randt’s novel „Allegro Pastel“ is the perfect penetration of the present. [… ] Allegro Pastel is not a dystopia like Leif Randt’s earlier novels Shimmering Haze Over Coby County and Planet Magnon. The novel exposes the deeper structures of our Wokeness culture, where digital communication channels have become second nature to us. But this is neither culturally critically rejected as alienation nor glorified in Andy Warhol’s succession as a celebration of the surface.« – Ijoma Mangold, DIE ZEIT

Leif Randt has precisely described the search for [the „postpragmatic joy“], and his language makes „Allegro Pastel“ a very beautiful, tender love story.“ Frankfurter Allgemeine Sonntagszeitung

An attempt at total presence. Except that this presence is never understood as present, but is always felt as a flashback – „anticipatory melancholy“ is what Tanja calls this in her novel and thus finds a term that, like no other, designates the state of being of a generation that sees its life as film and itself as a director.“ Der SPIEGEL

Randt, it seems, did not develop his language, he just has it. The 36-year-old is one of the most stylistically confident authors of his generation. Distant and controlled, he tells his stories, and yet each sentence follows the previous ones organically, as if grown naturally. His language resembles the movements at a techno party. Randt listens into the present and lets his words dance to this sound.“ neues deutschland

More contemporaneity is not possible. Leif Randt is the new Christian Kracht.“ ZEIT Literatur

Randt’s prose flows along completely unresistingly, but is at the same time rich in subtle observations and brilliant reflections of the present. The talk of „stylistically precisely crafted texts about an elusive attitude to life“, which is applied to Tanja’s writing in the novel, can be related not least to Randt’s own text.“ Michael Navartil,

This text is really out there: Written in forcefully wicked prose, it contemplates postmodern relationships, and it’s both funny and sad – and it’s also highly entertaining.“

In any case, as a reader you can laugh a lot in this text, but even more you will fall in love with it.“ Südwest Presse

One can certainly call Randt a pop star of contemporary German literature.“ Frankfurter Neue Presse

The book is great.“ Die Literarische Welt

„[…] „Allegro Pastel“ is more than just another successful book. It is a directly contemporary and at the same time absolutely coherent document of an aesthetic turn of time.“ Süddeutsche Zeitung

„[…] the book [is] already so tremendously reflected and at the same time so pleasantly fluffy, like going to a club on a Sunday afternoon. You walk through Berlin clubs with the same good mood as you do through the Maintal nature reserves„. Die WELT

Behind the façade of the love story and artist novel, „Allegro Pastel“ turns out to be an analytical novel about Germany, which is very much about this people revolving around themselves and constantly reflecting themselves.“ Tagesspiegel

»Schimmernder Dunst über Coby County (“Shimmering Mist Over Coby County”) signals the start of a new era in German literature.« Der Freitag

»Leif Randt’s literary voice is distinctive, memorable, idiosyncratic in the best sense of the word.« Eva Menasse

ALLEGRO PASTEL was also nominated for the prize of Leipzig Book Fair in the category fiction. From the jury’s justification:

»What does love do in times of self-curation? Leif Randt tells of a long-distance relationship between messenger services, psycho-hygiene and wellness drugs. With wit and precision, he not only puts the spotlight on our neurotic-virtuous social media performance.«   

»Allegro Pastel is an absorbing meditation on the nature of love in the twenty-first century, life after thirty, the danger of slipping into old patterns of behaviour, and what it means to be true to yourself.« New Books in German

Tanja Arnheim, whose debut novel enjoys cult status, is turning 30 in a few weeks. Looking out onto Berlin’s Hasenheide park, she waits for an earth-shattering idea for her new book. Her boyfriend, the sought-after web designer Jerome Daimler, is in his mid-30s and lives in his parents’ bungalow in the countryside. Increasingly, he’s trying to understand his life as spiritual contemplation. Despite their long-distance relationship, Tanja and Jerome always stay close through texts and images. And they visit each other in their respective realities for long weekends: Their relationship is an attempt to be there for – but not lost to – each other. Their parents, friends and depressed siblings reflect a suffering to which Tanja and Jerome largely remain immune. Yet the desire to preserve their affection without letting it grow staid or painfully existential poses a major challenge for the couple.