Everything Under

Nominiert: Man Booker Prize 2018


**A New York Times Notable Book 2018**

'Daisy Johnson is a new goddamn swaggering monster of fiction.'
Lauren Groff

Words are important to Gretel, always have been. As a child, she lived on a canal boat with her mother, and together they invented a language that was just their own. She hasn’t seen her mother since the age of sixteen, though – almost a lifetime ago – and those memories have faded. Now Gretel works as a lexicographer, updating dictionary entries, which suits her solitary nature.

A phone call from the hospital interrupts Gretel’s isolation and throws up questions from long ago. She begins to remember the private vocabulary of her childhood. She remembers other things, too: the wild years spent on the river; the strange, lonely boy who came to stay on the boat one winter; and the creature in the water – a canal thief? – swimming upstream, getting ever closer. In the end there will be nothing for Gretel to do but go back.

Daisy Johnson’s debut novel turns classical myth on its head and takes readers to a modern-day England unfamiliar to most. As daring as it is moving,
Everything Under is a story of family and identity, of fate, language, love and belonging that leaves you unsettled and unstrung.
"Daisy Johnson is a new goddamn swaggering monster of fiction" Lauren Groff
Daisy Johnson was born in 1990. Her debut short story collection,
Fen, was published in 2016. She is the winner of the Harper's Bazaar Short Story Prize, the A.M. Heath Prize and the Edge Hill Short Story Prize. She currently lives in Oxford by the river.
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Einband gebundene Ausgabe
Seitenzahl 272
Erscheinungsdatum 12.07.2018
Sprache Englisch
ISBN 978-1-910702-34-5
Verlag Random House UK
Maße (L/B/H) 22,3/14,1/3,2 cm
Gewicht 400 g
Verkaufsrang 3.884
Buch (gebundene Ausgabe, Englisch)
bisher 16,99

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1 Bewertung

Everything Under
von Miss.mesmerized am 02.08.2018

Gretel does not grow up like other kids do. Her mother is different, they live on a boat, stop here and there and they even invent their own language. After the mother?s sudden disappearance, Gretel is left on her own devices and has to find a place in the... Gretel does not grow up like other kids do. Her mother is different, they live on a boat, stop here and there and they even invent their own language. After the mother?s sudden disappearance, Gretel is left on her own devices and has to find a place in the world. The early fascination for words quite naturally makes her a lexicographer, a very lonesome job in which she updates dictionary entries. Even though she hadn?t been in contact with her mother for more than sixteen years, she hasn?t forgotten her and always feared that she might be the person behind a newspaper article about a fatal accident. When they are re-united, also the long lost memories of their former time together come back. Daisy Johnson?s debut novel is nominated on the Man Booker Prize 2018 longlist, itself already an honour, but even more so for an author at the age of only 28. It only takes a few pages into the novel to see why it easily could persuade the judges: it is wonderfully written, poetic and shows a masterly use of language: ?I?d always felt that our lives could have gone in multiple directions, that the choices you made forced them into turning out the way they did. But maybe there were no choices; maybe there were no other outcomes.? Gretel?s has never been easily and having found her mother, seriously marked by her illness, doesn?t make it easier since she will never get answers but has to live with how her life turned out. What I found most striking was how Daisy Johnson easily transgresses boundaries in her novel: being female or male ? does it actually matter? If you call a person Marcus or Margot, it?s just the same, you immediately recognize the person behind the label. Sarah and Gretel live on the water and on land, they blend in nature and don?t see a line between man and animal or plants, it?s just all there. The language itself also doesn?t know any limits; if need be, create new words to express what you want to say. And there is this creature, a fantastic being that can also exist either in Sarah?s mind or in this novel where so much is possible. Just like Gretel and her brother Hansel who were left in the woods but managed to find a way out, Gretel follows the crumbs to her mother, retraces the journey they did when she was young and with the help of the people she meets, tries to make sense of her own and especially her mother?s life. The structure is demanding since it springs backwards and forwards which I found difficult to follow at times. But the language?s smoothness and virtuosity compensate for this exceedingly.