Fleur Jaeggy’s Cat


Susan Sontag calls her savage, Josef Brodsky calls her extraordinary,  and the Paris Review calls her book downright lovely. There isn’t much one can add to that.

Fleur Jaeggy’s latest collection, translated by Gini Alhadeff, is out next month and you can get it here. What should be a really rather comfortable upbringing in a wealthy Swiss family isn’t comfortable at all – there is violence just beneath the surface, waiting to break through. Jaeggy’s observation is razor-sharp.

Yes, there’s a story of a cat, and it all starts very nicely and neutrally, with something rather ordinary…


… has already gone. Like in so many of these stories, there is an emotional disconnect between the violence and its consequences, making it far more terrible.


There is a lot to absorb in very little time – it is almost over before it has begun. Her writing is incredibly dense.


Which is very much the feeling this book leaves one with. It is so compelling, I read it in one sitting. I wouldn’t want to read it alone in the house on a dark night.

The bookmark shows Tuulikki Pietilä‘s Metsästys/Hunting, photographed for the Ateneum Museum by Ainur Nasredtin.

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