Omslagsbild: De kommer att drunkna i sina mödrars tårar

Date of release: 2017-02-27
Pages: 294
Sold to: Bulgaria: Matcom, Denmark: Gyldendal, Estonia: Eesti Raamat, Finland: Schildts, France: Actes Sud, Germany: Luchterhand, Macedonia: Begemot, Netherlands: De Geus, Norway: Forlaget Press, Poland: Prószynski, Serbia: Dereta, Spain: Nórdica Libros, US: Two Lines Press
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De kommer att drunkna i sina mödrars tårar /The Rabbit Yard

A winter night in Gothenburg. Three individuals, who have sworn allegiance to the crumbling terror state Daesh, enter a local book store where a controversial comic artist has been invited to talk about freedom of expression and blasphemy. His appearance is disrupted by gunshot, panic breaks out and everyone in the store is taken hostage. One of the attackers, a young woman, is tasked to film the violence and put it up on a live feed on internet. But as the situation escalates, she turns to one of the others and whispers: Everything is wrong. We shouldn't be here. We should leave.

Two years later, an author visits the young woman at a clinic for forensic psychiatry. She has read his books, and asked for him. He comes, reluctantly; in his eyes she is a demon that has stolen his face, his religion. At the same time, he is curious to find out what she wants. Curious about the mystery of this young Belgian girl, who suddenly showed up in Sweden, no longer knowing her mother tongue or acknowledging the name in her passport, and who performed this heinous act of terror. She hands him a bunch of papers, asks him to read them, to tell her what he thinks. And as he is about to leave, she tells her secret: that she is not from here, not from this now. That she is in fact from the future.

Over the next couple of years, the author seeks out the survivors as well as relatives of the attackers, tries to find out more than what can be told from media headlines and the brutality of the girl's film. He continues to visit the girl in the clinic and she continues to write about the reality she comes from: the persecutions, the degradations, the Rabbit Yard. There is something about her story that he cannot put his finger on, that cannot just be attributed her schizophrenia. At the same time, he and his wife are planning their move to another country, to secure a better future for themselves and their daughter. The young woman in the clinic is disappearing more and more often, giving room for that other girl, the Belgian one, who does not recognize his face or speak his language. Time is running out for him to unlock the mystery.

The Rabbit Yard
is an intense story filled with sorrow over the state of the world today. It's about hope and hopelessness, about friendship and betrayal, and about the ugly theater of terror and fascism. Johannes Anyuru shows us once again that he is a master of words and time, and that he justly deserves his place among the big international names of his generation.

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As always, Johannes Anyuru writes an incredibly rhythmic, lyrical and image-rich prose which despite the ongoing violence is also devastatingly beautiful and suggestive. /… / Then again, it is a novel written from within literature itself. It is Walter Benjamin meets Paul Virilio, meets Donna Haraway, it is streams of consciousness full of verve and slang, mixed with hearty, lust-filled doses of Harry Martinson’s space epos Aniara. Goddamnit, it is an author who has managed to surpass himself.
… a scorching contemporary novel, portraying several of the most frightening tendencies of the present: above all how fear and hatred always interplay, and how right now they breed and feed terrorism and fascism. /… / This is a novel that you can read on different levels at the same time. “The Rabbit Yard” is political pamphlet, futuristic dystopia and a personal book of thoughts all at once. Above all it shifts my gaze just enough so that I can see the here and now in a new way, or rather, it makes me feel and understand the present in another way. /… / The novel becomes an almost physical experience – a fist punch. I wish this novel reaches a wide audience. It has a message that is more than pressing, and it succeeds with what all great art should do – to change and deepen the image of reality.
The Rabbit Yard is just as urgently incisive as the present situation. You need to try to understand. You need to think. You need to talk. Otherwise, we will all drown in the future tears of our children. /… / An overwhelming tale of our time.
Anyuru shifts from the outset as a contemporary political thriller, to a visionary, futuristic dystopia, kindred with Orwell’s 1984 and Harry Martinson’s Aniara. /…/ The story takes my breath away. It is the poet Johannes Anyuru’s nuance-rich language that makes this time travel possible. In it there is room for worry, sorrow, dreams, melancholy, anger, beauty and also openings towards the unspeakable and unknown. /…/  Johannes Anyuru’s elaborate tale of the future is chilling, and like all dystopian futuristic novels, it concerns our own time. His novel, both poetically as well as politically, cuts right through our problematic present, with ISIS, terrorism, right-wing extremism and nationalism, yet it ends in the assurance that we can influence our future to take a completely different direction. Therein lies the hope of the novel.

Johannes Anyuru (b. 1979) is a poet, novelist and playwright. He made his debut in 2003 with the critically acclaimed collection of poems Only The Gods Are New.

A Storm Blew in From Paradise (2012) was based on his own father's life and marked an important breakthrough in Anyuru's authorship. It received rave reviews, reached the #1 spot on the critics' lists and was awarded and shortlisted for several prestigious literary prizes.

The Rabbit Yard (2017) was a huge success, both critically and commercially, and was awarded the August Prize. Translation rights have been sold to twelve territories and film rights have been acquired by Momento Film. 

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