Alastair McEwen, Fleur Jaeggy

Format: Paperback / softback

Publisher: And Other Stories

Published: 28-03-2019


Compressed, delicate and brutally precise, Proleterka is a fierce coming-of-age story.

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A fifteen-year-old girl and her father, Johannes, take a cruise to Greece on the SS Proleterka. Jaeggy recounts the girl’s youth in her distinctively strange, telescopic prose: the remarried mother, cold and unconcerned; the father who was allowed only rare visits with the child; the years spent stashed away with relatives or at boarding school. For the girl and her father, their time on the ship becomes their `last and first chance to be together.’ On board, she becomes the object of the sailors’ affection, receiving a violent, carnal education. Mesmerised by the desire to be experienced, she crisply narrates her trysts as well as her near-total neglect of her father.Proleterka is a ferocious study of distance, diffidence and `insomniac resentment.’