The Child That Didn't Ask


Original Title: Das Kind, das nicht fragte

original edition

Hardcover with jacket, 432 pages, 13.5 x 21.5 cm, 5.3 x 8.5 in.
ISBN: 978-3-630-87302-2
€ 21.99 [D] | € 22.70 [A] | CHF 30.90 * (* rec. retail price) recommended retail price

Publishing House: Luchterhand Literaturverlag

Date of publication: November 19, 2012
This title is available.


Hanns-Josef  Ortheil - The Child That Didn't Ask


About a silent child and the vulnerability of the ego

One day in April, Benjamin Merz arrives in Catania. Merz is an ethnologist and his aim is to study the way people live in Mandlica, a small town on the south coast of Sicily. Merz is looking forward to the project, but he finds it extremely difficult to do one thing that is of fundamental importance for his work: ask questions. And there is a reason for this.

He grew up with his four older brothers and spent his childhood years in enforced speechlessness. His fourbrothers monopolized the conversation, and even just simply understanding what was being talked about was too much for the far younger child. He might find asking questions difficult, but instead, he is an excellent listener. It is this skill that in Mandlica, the town of the dolci, makes him into a much sought-after conversational partner – especially with women. They start confiding in him their family secrets and hidden-most desires concerning love…

“Ortheil tells this love story with much sensitivity; he develops tension with the question of whether his hero will ultimately find salvation in love … And almost incidentally, the backdrop of Sicily shimmers so vividly in descriptive images that one will feel the sun of the South on one’s skin.”

Weser Kurier


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