A Dagens Nyheter Top Ten Title: FROM THE SUGAR FACTOR by Dorothee Elmiger

Dorothee Elmiger’s FROM THE SUGAR FACTORY (Hanser 2020) has been a Dagens Nyheter Top Ten title for weeks now. Here is a selection of quotes from the raving reviews in Sweden:  

Dorothee Elmiger writes thought-provokingly and emotionally in „From the Sugar Factory“. There is never a long way between literature and reality in Dorothee Elmiger’s book „From the Sugar Factory“. It begins in a Philadelphia parking lot and grows into a history of sugar ideas. Ingrid Elam reads a book full of connections. – Dagens Nyheter

„From the Sugar Factory“ is literature as architecture – to stroll through and let the thought fly, so that it lands in a new one. It is liberating reading. Intelligent and complex, without being cluttered. Despite the fragmentary construction, there is a sucking forward momentum. – Sveriges Radio

It takes a well sharpened pencil to make a whole of this clever perplexity. A cloud, nay firework, of lyrical caoutchouc sloshing over hastily jotted remarks. All of this translated into English with Nik Ruth Persson’s light touch of the keyboard at the point where I want to raise the Haydn flag. Even though I get nervous from Haydn’s sputtering trout. I think of „From the Sugar Factory“ as a mystery thriller. – Expressen

Dorothee Elmiger urges readers to think for themselves. […] After reading this peculiar and evocative „novel“, tabs of the world order shine in a too often forgotten light. Elmiger doesn’t explain, she just gives us the pieces and commands us to think. That’s a good mark. – Aftonbladet

The sugar and the desire have been cast in a brilliant language. Swiss author Dorothee Elmiger’s latest work, From the Sugar Factory, is an engaging hybrid novel and lyrical essay on sugar as desire, metaphor and colonial commodity. A linguistic triumph. – Kristianstadbladet

  • Shortlisted for the Swiss Book Award 2020
  • Shortlisted for the German Book Award 2020
  • Rights sold to Denmark (Gladiator), France (Editions Zoé), Sweden (Nirstedt), USA & Canada (Two Lines Press)

If the connections between world events should suddenly be wiped out, we would be grateful to find Dorothee Elmiger’s book to help us understand what happened in the past. Its subject: the cycles of capital, labour and lust. Its form: a journal full of observations, surveys and investigations.

„My skills never end“ is the slogan on the T-shirt of a worker receiving his wages. Switzerland’s first lottery millionaire stands on the beach of a Caribbean island looking out to sea. At night, goats crowd around the writer’s bed. Dorothee Elmiger tracks down money and desire through the centuries and the world. She writes biographies of mystics, the insatiable, gamblers, orgiasts and colonialists, studies the routes of ships on the Atlantic, records dreams and cases of ecstasy and madness. Out of the Sugar Factory documents this research in a text that opens our eyes to the complexity of the world.

“It is already clear that Out of the Sugar Factory will be one of this year’s most important books. This is because it delves into pressing issues, but deals with them in a hallucinatory way. And because of the precision and luminous beauty of her language.” – Anne-Sophie Scholl, Die Zeit

“Out of the Sugar Factory makes a psychological inventory, the findings of which are authenticated by the author’s rigorous literary method. To be sobered up by Dorothee Elmiger’s book is an intoxicating experience.” – Paul Jandl, Neue Zürcher Zeitung

“Born in 1985, this Swiss writer does not carelessly tell a fully rounded story, as stories like these can only subject reality to violence, subjecting it to an order that neither promotes knowledge nor qualifies it for change. […] You might call it a ‘school of perception’, a challenge to view the world with tender respect.” – Michael Wolf, Der Freitag

“Out of the Sugar Factory is, therefore, above all else an exercise in devotion: to the enigmatic and repeatedly miraculous entanglements of reading.” – Björn Hayer, ZEIT