The Unfinished Child
Die Liebe zur Zeit des Mahlstädter Kindes

clemens setz die liebe zur zeit des mahlstadeter kindes
Suhrkamp Verlag
March 2011 / 350pp
  • Winner of the Leipzig Book Fair Prize 2011

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With his characteristic blend of grotesque imagination, beguiling detail, rich allusion and stylistic flair, Setz has followed up his award-winning novels with a remarkably versatile and intriguing collection of short stories.

Business cards develop welts and infect other objects with corrosion; a woman lives in an apartment on a Ferris wheel; a wife demands that her reluctant husband lock her in a cage. In Setz’s fiction, the line between tenderness and horror constantly wavers. There is mesmerising beauty and lyricism in his details, and he has a knack for striking images and similes. Sometimes his metaphors are so apt that it seems amazing no one ever thought of them before: in Manhattan, one character has the feeling of ‘turning the pages of a book when he walked northward through the streets with their ascending numbers’.

Setz’s elegant and meticulous craft, his understated transitions between the everyday and the fantastic, the simple grace of his sentences, the precision of his imagery, the empathetic depiction of his characters’ all-too-human idiosyncrasies, and his revelatory approach to mundane detail have established him as a young author of great distinction.

press quotes

‘The Wunderkind of German literature’– Die Zeit

about the author

Clemens J. Setz was born in 1982 and now lives in Graz, Austria. He was shortlisted for the German Book Prize in 2009, won the Bremen Literature Prize in 2010, and is shortlisted for the 2011 Leipzig Book Fair Prize.

Previous works include:
Söhne und Planeten (‘Sons and Planets‘, 2007); Die Frequenzen (‘The Frequencies‘, 2009)

rights information

Suhrkamp Verlag
Pappelallee 78-79
10437 Berlin
Tel: +49 30 740 744-0
Contact: Dr. Petra Hardt (USA); Nora Mercurio (UK)

Suhrkamp Verlag was founded in 1950 by Peter Suhrkamp and directed for over forty years by Dr Siegfried Unseld. The independent publishing company now includes Insel Verlag (founded in Leipzig in 1899), the Jüdischer Verlag (founded in Berlin in 1902), as well as the Deutscher Klassiker Verlag (established in 1981) and the newly founded Verlag der Weltreligionen (established in 2006). Suhrkamp focuses on both contemporary literature and the humanities. Its distinguished list includes leading writers from Germany, Switzerland and Austria, many of whom made their debuts with the firm, besides major international authors of both fiction and non-fiction, including several Nobel Prize winners.

translation assistance

Applications for adult fiction or children’s books should be made to the Austrian Federal Ministry for Arts, Culture, the Civil Service and Sport in good time before the book goes to print.

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