What it means to lose one’s homeland.
Simone Grolmann is 52, established and respected, a professor of behaviour research, the mother of a daughter, an analytical person. And she feels fear – fear of snow. The fear is deep within her, immersed as deep as the Breslau woods through which her father, his handicapped brother Emil and his mother Lilly trudged in the night of 19th to 20th January 1945 at temperatures of 21 degrees below freezing point – three people with three soaking, heavy cardboard boxes. That was 17 years before she was born, and yet this is her own fear. She cannot understand the pain she feels so clearly.
Ulrike Draesner tells the story of the Grolmann family seen from the point of view of four generations. She has with great virtuosity created a kaleidoscope of memories that keep joining to make new images showing how the traumas inflicted by flight and displacement still affect the living and how psychological landscapes are passed down from one generation to the next.
“War, flight and expulsion: Ulrike Draesner, in a brilliant novel, digs right down into the inner constitution of a traumatized generation.”
‘A brilliant novel with unconventional characters. […]. Seven Leaps from the Edge of the World is one of the great books of this spring.’
‘Ulrike Draesner’s novel Seven Leaps from the Edge of the World makes superb use of the possibilities of language.’
‘An enormous and dense weave of history and fiction, true escapes and psychical labyrinths … always with a strong vortex and at times fantastically bizarre.’