The Mussel Feast

  • The Mussel Feast Novel ISBN 978-3-86789-180-6 112 pages

    A mother and her two teenage children sit at the dinner table. In the middle stands a large pot of cooked mussels. Why has the father not returned home? As the evening wears on, we glimpse the issues that are tearing this family apart.

    A few hours are enough to tear a carefully balanced nuclear family to pieces. This minor shift in a familiar set-up unearths an oppressive atmosphere and petty-bourgeois ambitions, but it likewise reveals a hidden love. By not showing up for dinner, the patriarch brings about his own downfall.

    »I wrote this book in august 1989, just before the fall of the Berlin Wall. I wanted to understand how revolutions start. It seemed logical to use the figure of a tyrannical father and turn the story into a German family saga.«

    Birgit Vanderbeke


    Birgit Vanderbeke

    , born in 1956 in Dahme/Mark, lives in southern France. She was awarded the 1990 Ingeborg Bachmann Prize for »The Mussel Feast«. In 1997 she received the Kranichstein Literature Prize, in 1999 the Solothurn Literature Prize for her complete fiction, and in 2002 the Hans Fallada Prize. Rotbuch has published her works »Missing Pieces« (1992), »Good Enough« (1993) and »Peaceful Times« (1996).


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    : Denmark (Politisk Revy), Finland (Lurra Editions), France (Editions Stock), Italy (Feltrinelli), Netherlands (Uitgeverij de Geus), Spain (La Galera), Spain / Basque (Pasazaite Liburuak), Spain / Galician (Rinoceronte Editora), United Kingdom (Peirene)