Roland Schimmelpfennig - One Clear Ice-cold January Morning at the Beginning of the 21st Century - Quercus

One Clear Ice-cold January Morning at the Beginning of the 21st Century

By Roland Schimmelpfennig

  • Paperback
  • £12.99

A contemporary Berlin fairy tale that bristles with urban truths - the first novel of Germany's most successful playwright

A contemporary Berlin fairy tale that bristles with urban truths ? the first novel of Germany's best-known contemporary playwright

One clear ice-cold January morning shortly after dawn, a wolf crosses the border between Poland and Germany. His trail leads all the way to Berlin, connecting the lives of disparate individuals whose paths intersect and diverge.

On an icy motorway eighty kilometres outside the city, a fuel tanker jack-knifes and explodes. The lone wolf is glimpsed on the hard shoulder and photographed by Tomasz, a Polish construction worker who cannot survive in Germany without his girlfriend. Elisabeth and Micha run away through the snow from their home village, crossing the wolf's tracks on their way to the city. A woman burns her mother's diaries on a Berlin balcony. And Elisabeth's father, a famous sculptor, observes the vast skeleton of a whale in his studio and asks: What am I doing here? And why?

Experiences and encounters flicker past with a raw, visual power, like frames in a black and white film. Those who catch sight of the wolf see their own lives reflected, and find themselves searching for a different path in a cold time. This first novel of Germany's most celebrated contemporary playwright is written in prose of tremendous power and precision.

Translated from the German by Jamie Bulloch

Biographical Notes

Roland Schimmelpfennig, born in 1967, is Germany's most celebrated contemporary playwright. He began his career as a journalist before studying to be a theatre director, and his plays have now been performed in more than forty countries worldwide, including the U.S.A. and U.K. (Royal Court). Schimmelpfennig is the recipient of the highest Playwriting Award in Germany, the Else-Lasker-Schüler-Prize, to honor his entire Oeuvre. One Ice-cold January Morning at the Beginning of the 21st Century is his first novel, shortlisted for the Leipzig Bookfair Prize in 2016. He lives in Berlin.

  • Other details

  • ISBN: 9780857057013
  • Publication date: 05 Apr 2018
  • Page count: 240
  • Imprint: MacLehose Press
Schimmelpfennig's world is uncomfortable and cold; but in the hearts of his character glow the flames of longing, passion and solidarity — Martin Halter, Berliner Zeitung
A powerful novel of extraordinary momentum and contemporaneity - its looping narrative is both gripping and unsettling — Björn Hayer, Spiegel
A moving book that delicately and expertly captures a prevailing atmosphere - of disorientation and bleakness in society, and of unexpressed feelings — Carsten Hueck, Deutschland Radiokultur
As cool and incisive as its title suggests — Dirk Knipphalz, TAZ

Alice Peterson

Alice Peterson's first book, A Will to Win - now republished as Another Alice - is her personal story of her tennis days (she was one of the top 10 juniors in the country), followed by her fight to beat Rheumatoid Arthritis. Since then she has written six novels, including Monday to Friday Man, the dog walking romantic comedy that knocked Fifty Shades of Grey off the top of the eBook chart. She lives in west London with her Lucas Terrier, Mr Darcy.

Bernardo Atxaga

Bernardo Atxaga was born in Gipuzkoa in Spain in 1951 and lives in the Basque Country, writing in Basque and Spanish. He is a prizewinning novelist and poet, whose books, including Obabakoak (1992), The Accordionist's Son (2007) and most recently Seven Houses in France (2012), have won critical acclaim in Spain and abroad. His works have been translated into twenty-two languages.

Christie Watson

Christie Watson trained as a paediatric nurse at Great Ormond Street Hospital, and worked as a nurse, educator and senior sister for over ten years before joining UEA for her MA in Creative Writing, where she won the Malcolm Bradbury Bursary. Christie lives in South London with her Nigerian Muslim partner and their large dual heritage, multi-faith family. Christie is a winner of Red's Hot Women Awards 2012.

Dan Simmons

Dan Simmons is an outstanding commercial talent. He has won the Hugo award, the World Fantasy Award, the Locus award (three times) and the Bram Stoker award. He lives in Colorado.Dan Simmons was born in Peoria, Illinois, in 1948, and grew up in various cities and small towns in the Midwest. He received his Masters in Education from Washington University in St. Louis in 1971. He worked in elementary education for eighteen years, winning awards for his innovative teaching, and became a full-time writer in 1987. Dan lives in Colorado with his wife, Karen, and has a daughter in her twenties. His books are published in twenty-nine counties and many of them have been optioned for film.

Elaine Proctor

Elaine Proctor was born in South Africa. She became involved in the anti-apartheid movement as a teenager and filmed several political documentaries up until 1986, when the political situation made it impossible for her to continue and she left to study at the National Film and Television School in Britain. She has made several films, including On The Wire (winner of the British Film Institute's Sutherland Trophy) and Friends (selected by the Cannes Film Festival and winner of the Mention Speciale - Prix de Camera D'Or), has written a series for the BBC and published two novels, Rhumba and The Savage Hour. She sits on the chapter for screenwriting at the British Academy of Film and Television Arts and is a member of the Writer's Guild of Great Britain. Elaine lives in Queen's Park, London.

Elizabeth Hay

Elizabeth Hay is the bestselling, award-winning author of Late Nights on Air, which won the Scotiabank Giller Prize. Her other works include A Student of Weather (finalist for the Giller Prize and the Ottawa Book Award), Garbo Laughs (winner of the Ottawa Book Award and a finalist for the Governor General's Award), and Small Change (stories). In 2002, she received the prestigious Marian Engel Award. Elizabeth Hay lives and writes in Ottawa.

Élmer Mendoza

Élmer Mendoza was born in Culiacán, México in 1949. He is a professor and author, widely regarded as the founder of 'narco-lit', which explores drug trafficking and corruption in Latin America. He won the José Fuentes Mares National Literary Prize for Janis Joplin's Lover, and the Tusquets Prize for Silver Bullets.

Hilary Boyd

Hilary Boyd trained as a nurse at Great Ormond Street Hospital, then as a marriage guidance counselor. After a degree in English Literature at London University in her thirties, she moved into health journalism, writing a Mind, Body, Spirit column for the Daily Express. She published six non-fiction books on health-related subjects before turning to fiction and writing a string of bestsellers, starting with Thursdays in the Park. Hilary is married to film director/producer Don Boyd and lives near Chichester, West Sussex.

Ida Simons

Ida Simons (1911-1960) was a writer and a pianist, whose successful career came to an end with the German invasion. She was deported to Westerbork and Theresienstadt, along with her family. After the war, she gave more concerts, and then began to write. A Foolish Virgin was first published in 1959, and was highly regarded at the time. Unfortunately, her work sank into oblivion after her untimely death, but since its rediscovery in 2014 it has been translated into twenty-two languages and published widely.

Jaimy Gordon

Jaimy Gordon was born in Baltimore. In addition to two novels, she has published poetry, plays, short stories and essays. Lord of Misrule was awarded the National Award for Fiction 2010.

Jo Spain

Jo Spain has worked as a party advisor on the economy in the Irish parliament. Her first novel, With Our Blessing, was one of seven books shortlisted in the Richard and Judy Search for a Bestseller competition and went on to be a top-ten bestseller in Ireland. Joanne lives in Dublin with her husband and their four young children.

Jordan Stump

Jordan Stump has translated many authors from the French including Marie Redonnet, Eric Chevillard, and Honoré de Balzac. His translation of Jardin des Plantes by Claude Simon won the 2001 French-American Foundation translation prize, and he was named a Chevalier de l'Ordre des Artes et des Lettres in 2006.

Jussi Adler-Olsen

Jussi Adler-Olsen is Denmark's number one crime writer and a New York Times bestseller. His books routinely top the bestseller lists in Europe and have sold more than sixteen million copies around the world. His many prestigious Nordic crime-writing awards include the Glass Key Award, also won by Henning Mankell, Jo Nesbø and Stieg Larsson.

Kathryn Flett

Kathryn Flett is a journalist who has written for numerous international publications and makes regular TV and radio appearances as a critic and pundit. She was the TV critic for the Observer for ten years and currently writes a restaurant review column, Table for Two, for the Sunday Telegraph. Outstanding is her second novel. She lives (with her two sons, Jackson and Rider, her partner, the photographer Julian Anderson, two cats and a whippet called Slim), in St-Leonards-on-Sea, East Sussex.

Kim Sherwood

Kim Sherwood was born in Camden in 1989. She studied on the Creative Writing MA at the University of East Anglia, going on to teach creative writing at UEA and the University of Sussex. Kim's stories and articles have appeared in numerous journals, including Mslexia, Lighthouse, and Going Down Swinging. The manuscript of her debut novel, Testament, won the 2016 Bath Novel Award.Kim began writing Testament in 2011 after her grandfather, the actor George Baker, passed away. In the same year, Kim's grandmother began to talk about her experiences as a Holocaust Survivor for the first time. These events provided seeds for a story that grew as Kim undertook research into the events of the Holocaust in Hungary, and as extremism rose again across Europe. Kim lives in Bath. She is a Senior Lecturer in Creative Writing at the University of the West of England. Testament is her first novel.

Mark Polizzotti

MARK POLIZZOTTI is the translator of more than thirty books from the French, including works by Gustave Flaubert, Marguerite Duras, Jean Echenoz, and Maurice Roche. His articles and reviews have appeared in The Wall Street Journal and The Nation. He is Publisher and Editor-in-Chief at The Metropolitan Museum of Art and lives in Brooklyn, New York.

Paul Lynch

Paul Lynch was born in 1977 and lives in Dublin. He was the chief film critic of Ireland's Sunday Tribune newspaper from 2007-2011. He has written regularly for the Sunday Times on film and has also written for the Irish Times, the Sunday Business Post, the Irish Daily Mail and Film Ireland.

Roberto Costantini

Roberto Costantini was born in Tripoli in 1952. Formerly an engineer and business consultant, he is now a manager of the LUISS Guido Carli University in Rome, where he also teaches on the MBA program.

Roland Schimmelpfennig

Roland Schimmelpfennig, born in 1967, is Germany's most celebrated contemporary playwright. He began his career as a journalist before studying to be a theatre director, and his plays have now been performed in more than forty countries worldwide, including the U.S.A. and U.K. (Royal Court). Schimmelpfennig is the recipient of the highest Playwriting Award in Germany, the Else-Lasker-Schüler-Prize, to honor his entire Oeuvre. One Ice-cold January Morning at the Beginning of the 21st Century is his first novel, shortlisted for the Leipzig Bookfair Prize in 2016. He lives in Berlin.

Tamara McKinley

Tamara McKinley is the author of more than eleven novels. She was born in Tasmania, but now lives in Sussex and Cornwall and writes full time. Her novels are both contemporary and historical, following the lives of Australian pioneers and those who came after them.