Lake Waban in Massachusetts June 2017

My favorite place to walk in the Boston area

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Visitation by Jenny Erpenbeck and I'm Ready for The Edge of the Cloud

I'm two-thirds of the way through Visitation by the German writer Jenny Erpenbeck (born in East Berlin in 1967 into a literary family). A slim volume at 150 pages, Visitation is the story of the various inhabitants of a beautiful property and house on the shores of a Brandenburg-region lake from the late 1800s until the late 20th century. Erpenbeck is an impeccable writer of highly original prose--she is in full possession of her craft and enormously creative. In Visitation, the reader is kept far, far out of reach of the characters' inner worlds. Their tragedies and histories are fully stated but kept at an unreachable distance, creating a haunting, spellbinding effect. I can't say it's been an entertaining read, but it's been thought-provoking and worth discovering.

Such a sad, heart-rending, and bittersweet undercurrent in Flambards by K.M. Peyton. I was sorry to see it end and urge others to read it (see my previous post). Because my library system does not have a single copy of the next volume in the Flambards saga, The Edge of the Cloud, I have ordered it through the used book section of Amazon for a small price. I have to find out what happens next!


  1. I'm really looking forward to reading this one! I didn't hear about it until the Independent Foreign Fiction shortlist, but I'm slowly working my way through them and look forward to this one!

  2. I have not read it yet, it's not easy to get into in German. I find the translation of the title problematic. Heimsuchung could mean a lot of different things, Visitation is a bit limiting. Heimsuchung also means "looking for a home" or " the haunting" ...

  3. Nomadreader,
    I'm interested to learn about the Independent Foreign Fiction shortlist! I'll look that up. You will truly like Visitation--it's unique and will twist your brain around a time or two!

  4. Hi, Caroline,
    I'm fascinated to learn of the different definitions of "Heimsuchung." As I've mentioned before, I do loathe most of the English translations of German titles.

    By "not easy to get into in German," do you mean you had trouble getting through the first 25 pages? I'm really eager to find out how you experienced it!