Before the Feast
A dazzling, award-winning new novel by the 'offensively gifted' author of How the Soldier Repairs the Gramophone.
It's the night before the feast in the village of Fürstenfelde (population: an odd number). The village is asleep. Except for the ferryman - he's dead. And Mrs Kranz, the night-blind painter, who wants to depict her village for the first time at night. A bell-ringer and his apprentice want to ring the bells - the only problem is that the bells have gone. A vixen is looking for eggs for her young, and Mr Schramm is discovering more reasons to quit life than smoking. Someone has opened the doors to the Village Archive, but what drives the sleepless out of their houses is not that which was stolen, but that which has escaped. Old stories, myths and fairy tales are wandering about the streets with the people. They come together in a novel about a long night, a mosaic of village life, in which the long-established and newcomers, the dead and the living, craftsmen, pensioners and noble robbers in football shirts bump into each other. They all want to bring something to a close, in this night before the feast.
Translated by Anthea Bell
Cover illustration by
Published 22 October 2015