A wolf has been sighted in the grounds of a factory. Will it return and what will the consequences be for the people who work there? Molinari’s finely-tuned and strangely compelling novel is a literary delight.
The cardboard box factory is soon to be closed down and its few remaining workers, including a cook, the director, a machine operator and a guard, are caught up in thoughts of finality: the last pans of soup, the last forklift consignment of boxes, the last repairs, the last goodbyes. The novel’s narrator is a young woman, a night-guard in this place where there is precious little to guard or to see.
The wolf has not been seen again, but the dramatic possibility of its return shapes the narrative. The narrator and her fellow night-guard, Clemens, are asked to dig a trap in case the wolf comes back. The narrator sleeps on the premises by choice, cut off from the town nearby, and with only the monitors and her Universal Encyclopaedia for company much of the time. She jots down her musings on fences and islands, barriers and limits, her observations on natural history and wide-ranging flights of fancy triggered by the few sparks of conversation around her. Alongside the possible existence of the wolf, she is fascinated by the story of Lose, a machine operator who has found a new job at the airport nearby. The airport becomes a place full of possibilities in the narrator’s imagination. She recalls how Lose once saw a man drop from the sky from his viewpoint inside a bird hide, a man the police presumed had hidden himself in the wiring beneath the belly of a plane and frozen to death. This is the imaginative landscape inhabited by the novel, where the reader is invited to linger awhile, in a literary world that quietly draws us in.
Molinari’s impeccable writing style and delightfully quirky trains of thought animate the novel. Everything Is Still Possible Here raises questions about the borders and limits we place on our everyday lives. Molinari’s is a voice that makes us sit up and take note of the unsettling but endlessly interesting margins of our experience.
All recommendations from Autumn 2018