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The Discomfort of Evening

by Marieke Lucas Rijneveld

Comfort of any kind is in short supply: tragedy, grief and the coping strategies of a devout farming family are at the heart of a deeply disturbing story. Adolescent Jas obsesses about death, sex and bodily functions. Offbeat humour gives way to an impassive account of life falling apart. Although I was transfixed by Jas's world of vulnerability and violence, I did not leave it unscathed - but it was worth it.

Extract

My sister is the only person who understands why I've stopped taking off my coat. And the only one who tries to think of a solution. Our evenings are filled with this. Sometimes I get afraid that one of her solutions is going to work, that I'll take away something from my sister, because as long as we still have desires we're safe from death, draped around the farm's shoulders like the suffocating smell after a day of muck-spreading. At the same time my red coat is fading, just like my image of Matthies.
Translated by Michele Hutchison

Parallels

The Twin by Gerbrand Bakker
 

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