The Tidings of the Trees by Wolfgang Hilbig

The Tidings of the Trees

Wolfgang Hilbig

A writer in East Germany has stalled after his first sentence. He goes out into the woods around his town seeking some kind of inspiration. The decaying forest and its inhabitants, the Garbagemen, are a metaphor for the collapse of his country. Nothing happens and yet his life changes. It is a nightmare image of a failed state, delivered in an extraordinary, poetic voice.

Extract

I'd have to tell how I searched for them even while they existed in reality ... later, long after I knew of their disappearance, I searched for them still. Reality, in nearly every instance, I thought, has been debased to a worthless product of language.

Parallels
  • 1984 by George Orwell
  • How I became a North Korean by Krys Lee
  • The Story of a Brief Marriage by Anuk Arudpragasam

Books with similar mood

Weatherman

Anthony Cropper

Say Something Back

Denise Riley

The Bleeding of the Stone

Ibrahim Al-Koni

I am the Brother of XX

Fleur Jaeggy

Where I Left My Soul

Jerome Ferrari

People in the Room

Norah Lange

Fever Dream

Samanta Schweblin

Oh Sweden! Oh Israel!

Stephan Mendel-Enk

Vault - An Anti-novel

David Rose

The Wasting Game

Philip Gross

The Last Children of Tokyo

Yoko Tawada

Out in the Open

Jesús Carrasco

Thursbitch

Alan Garner

The Life of Insects

Victor Pelevin

The Brothers

Asko Sahlberg

Chronicle of a Last Summer: A Novel of Egypt

Yasmine El Rashidi

Beast

Paul Kingsnorth

Dirty Work

Gabriel Weston

Professor Andersen's Night

Dag Solstad

Bumping

Tony Bianchi

Black Juice

Margo Lanagan

The Swallows of Kabul

Yasmina Khadra

The Lone Woman

Bernardo Atxaga

Small Country

Gaël Faye

A Mouthful of Glass

Henk van Woerden

Border State

Tonu Onnepalu

Notes for a War Story

Gipi &nbsp

Disquiet

Julia Leigh

The Mussel Feast

Birgit Vanderbeke

Pelt

Sarah Jackson

Crushed Mexican Spiders

Tibor Fischer

The Maid's Request

Michele Desbordes

By Night in Chile

Roberto Bolano

The Invention of Dr Cake

Andrew Motion

Children of the Cave

Virve Sammalkorpi

The Well of Trapped Words

Sema Kaygusuz

My Name Is Sei Shonagon

Jan Blensdorf

Vertigo

W G Sebald

Beneath Black Stars

Martin Chalmers

Istanbul Istanbul

Burhan Sönmez

Such Small Hands

Andrés Barba

An Unfinished Business

Boualem Sansal

Stories of Your Life and Others

Ted Chiang

White Lies

Dexter Petley

A Golden Age

Tahmima Anam

Death Is Hard Work

Khaled Khalifa

You Should Have Left

Daniel Kehlmann

Chewing Gum

Mansour Bushnaf