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Birgit Vanderbeke, born in 1956, is one of Germany's most successful literary authors. She has written 12 novels. The Mussel Feast was her first publication and won the most prestigious German language literature award, The Ingeborg Bachmann Prize. The book was published in 1989 and has never been out of print since. It has been translated into all major European languages, including French, Spanish and Italian.
'We are playing catch-up here with something of a contemporary European classic.' David Mills, SUNDAY TIMES ------ 'The novella brilliantly renders both the power of the revolutionary moment and the uncertainty of the future it unleashes.' Jane Yager, TIMES LITERARY SUPPLEMENT ------ 'This is one of those books that doesn't tell us what to think, but sets us off thinking ... Who writes this kind of nuanced work in Britain?' Nicholas Lezard, GUARDIAN ------ 'Sinister, funny and heartening, this taut novella reflects, within the microcosm of the family, the dissolution of the East German state, with an insight, economy and controlled fury that have made it a modern German classic.' Chris Schuler, INDEPENDENT ------ 'There is a political edge to Vanderbeke's provocative examination of patriarchal violence, and part of the power of this darkly comic tale is how well it succeeds as an allegory for political tyranny.' Lucy Popescu, INDEPENDENT ON SUNDAY ------ 'Astute, darkly funny, provocative, often uncomfortable in its devastating depiction of patriarchal oppression but ultimately uplifting.' Pam Norfolk, LANCASHIRE EVENING POST ------ 'An extraordinary book, the story unspooled with masterful restraint, and written with simplicity and precision.' Francesca Segal, STANDPOINT