Swift's Waterland soaks into McEwan's Cement Garden in this shocking and intense debut.
Incest, madness & romance in the peat. Can an incestuous relationship ever be a happy one?
Steeped in an unearthly and unsettling fenland landscape, relationships like that between Victor and his teen sister tend to mist up the perspectives of the 'normal'.
A decade on, Victor arrives in Paris to write a book about Kerouac. 'All he possessed was his past, a writer's greatest treasure. While not wanting to repudiate it, he aspired to the grandeur of loss.' And it is there, in the security and oppressiveness of his childhood, in the lonely fens of Groningen, that Victor's dark treasure lies - an oppresiveness symbolized by the alcoholism of his father - and of his incestuous love for his younger sister Lisa.
From the no-man's-land between sea and soil in north-east Holland comes an outstanding book from an author who promises to be one of the first European literary stars of the new century. Steamy, sensuous, atmospheric and ripe with longing and loneliness.
Nanne Tepper was born in 1962. He and his writing all come from a peculiar, other-worldly corner of the country around Groningen. Imagine if Morrissey had come from the Fenlands, and you'll be half-way there. With this, his first book, he caused a sensation - it is widely regarded in Holland as the best debut this decade.
'An astonishing first novel. Here, out of the blue, we have a young man who proves to be a full blown writer from his first novel. The book has great style, tight structure and a haunting narrative. It's all there, complete full grown craftmanship. a born writer who will be one of the most important authors of his generation.'
marcel moring, author of In Babylon