You Should Have Left
By Daniel Kehlmann
A chilling story of marital struggle and psychological disturbance from a master of modern European literature
A thrilling exploration of psychological disturbance and fear from the bestselling and prize-winning author of Measuring the World.
On retreat in the wintry Alps with his family, a writer is optimistic about completing the sequel to his breakthrough film. Nothing to disturb him except the wind whispering around their glassy house. The perfect place to focus.
Intruding on that peace of mind, the demands of his four-year-old daughter splinter open long-simmering arguments with his wife. I love her, he writes in the notebook intended for his script. Why do we fight all the time?
Guilt and expectation strain at his concentration, and strain, too, at the walls of the house. They warp under his watch; at night, looking through the window, he sees impossible reflections on the snow outside.
Then the words start to appear in his notebook; the words he didn't write.
Familiar and forbidding by turns, this is an electrifying experiment in form by one of Europe's boldest writers. The ordinary struggles of a marriage transform, in Kehlmann's hands, into a twisted fable that stays darkly in the mind.
Daniel Kehlmann was born in Munich in 1975 and lives in Vienna, Berlin and New York. He has published six novels: Measuring the World, Me & Kaminski Fame, F and You Should Have Left and has won numerous prizes, including the Candide Prize, the Literature Prize of the Konrad Adenauer Foundation, the Doderer Prize, The Kleist Prize, the WELT Literature Prize, and the Thomas Mann Prize. Measuring the World was translated into more than forty languages and is one of the biggest successes in post-war German literature.
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- Publication date:
15 Jun 2017
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Kehlmann is one of the brightest, most pleasure-giving writers at work today, and he manages all this while exploring matters of deep philosophical and intellectual import. — Jonathan Franzen
Daniel Kehlmann is one of the great novelists for making giant themes seem light — Adam Thirlwell
You Should Have Left - part-horror, part-psychodrama - serves up effective shocks and thrills that keep us rapt and on the edge of our seats . . . Kehlmann brings that abyss ever closer and takes his narrator, and his reader, over the edge. — Malcolm Forbes, National
Wry, eerie and increasingly terrifying . . . Daniel Kehlmann is certainly in complete mastery of an entertaining Everyman's postmodernist Gothic guaranteed to unsettle — Eileen Battersby, Irish Times