Before the Feast


Original Title: Vor dem Fest

original edition

Hardcover with jacket, 320 pages, 13.5 x 21.5 cm, 5.3 x 8.5 in.
ISBN: 978-3-630-87243-8
€ 20.00 [D] | € 20.60 [A] | CHF 28.90 * (* rec. retail price) recommended retail price

Publishing House: Luchterhand Literaturverlag

Date of publication: March 10, 2014
This title is available.


Rights sold to: Bosnia (Buybook), Brazil (Foz), Bulgaria (Funtasy), China (Horizon), Croatia (Fraktura), Czech Republic (Labyrint), Denmark (Tiderne Skifter), Finland (Fabriikki), France (Stock), Italy (Keller), The Netherlands (Ambo Anthos), Norway (Cappelen Damm), Poland (PWN), Serbia (Samizdat), Sweden (Weyler Forlag), Turkey*, UK/ World English (Pushkin)

*rights available again

English sample translation available

Saša  Stanišić - Before the Feast


"A village in the Uckermark, fully in the present, yet rife with legends. In Before the Festival, this village tells its own story – a novel as a compelling multi-voiced chorale put in prose."

Leipzig Book Fair Prize Jury

"This novel should be read much like chocolate should be eaten: not too quickly and not all at one time."


"Stanišić writes so directly and poignantly about his homeland, foreignness, and the longing for peace, a humorous yet just as poetic book exuberantly filled with burlesque incidences and tragic-comical stories."


"A great discovery of the season."

Frankfurter Rundschau

"Before the Feast is a grand book. … This literature is alive."


"A book like no other. Politically adept and stylistically a work of art."

Die Zeit

"He seems to be a narrator who has a sheer immeasurable stock to fall back on."

Der Spiegel

"Stanišić has used language to create a village, a kaleidoscope, a cosmos of many voices, tone colours, jargons, the world in a nutshell, magically held together by a collective narrator that belongs to it all, by someone who is shrewd and cunning and smart and a little wise. It is as if it were all about putting straight the caricature of the anti-Heimat novel the typology of which knows only the bungled festival."

Leipziger Buchpreis-Jury

"This kind of narrative is not German, neither is it migrant German. It is more Anglo-American […]. Quite simply a great book."

(Die Welt)

"Reading it puts you bang in the middle of a festival of literature […]. It is a miracle. What luck to have it."


"A festival for readers."

Süddeutsche Zeitung

"A book like few others. Politically well-versed and stylistically a work of art."

Die Zeit

"Everything fits: the material, the sense of tragedy, the light and palatable language. Stanišić is adept."

Süddeutsche Zeitung

"The talent of this author is beyond question. Saša Stanišić has written a novel that is brilliant in all its details and in places bursting with high humour."

Neue Zürcher Zeitung

"Before the Feast tells a story of a village in decline, featuring a multitude of loveable, amusing and forlorn characters (both alive and mythological), each of them vibrantly portrayed. Stanisic is unbelievably talented: the way he controls his characters, plot and language is breathtaking. He is a masterful, generous, humorous and imaginative story-teller, and will go down in history as one of the greatest writers of our age, or any age."

Gesche Ipsen, editor, NBG Autumn 2015

"[The novel is] episodic, impressionistic and whimsical; every time you settle down with a character he or she temporarily disappears. But it’s also clever and funny."

The Guardian

"Switching among styles with a dancing virtuosity, Stanišić knits a dozen characters into a multi-stranded tissue of gossip, myth and memory."


"If the novel misses the passion and elegy of Stanišić's debut, then this child of war and exile knows that a quiet town in a quiet time has a magic of its own."



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