2020 | KW 46

Buchempfehlung der Woche

von Nkiacha Atemnkeng

Nkiacha Atemnkeng ist ein Schriftsteller aus Kamerun. Seine Arbeiten wurden 2015 in der Caine-Preis Anthologie Lusaka Punk and Other Stories, der Hotel Africa. New Short Fiction from Africa- Anthologie (2019), sowie in der Anthologie Of Passion and Ink: New Voices from Cameroon, herausgegeben von Bakwa Books und The Guardian Long Read, veröffentlicht. 2019 war er Stipendiat des Goethe Instituts gemeinsam mit der Stiftung kunst:raum sylt und verbrachte einige Monate auf Sylt. Aktuell studiert er an der Texas State University. Auf Twitter kann man ihm unter @nkiacha folgen.

Jenny Offill
Amt für Mutmaßungen
(Roman); Aus dem amerikanischen Englisch von Melanie Walz, DVA Verlag, München 2017 (OA: Knopf, New York 2014).

I read Jenny Offill’s brilliant novel Department of Speculation a year ago in an MFA course. I really loved it because of its idiosyncratically crafted style and all the innovative things she succeeded to pull off in the book. It starts in the second person point of view, before switching to first person. Jenny’s use of tense is also in a flux, switching between past tense and present tense. The prose itself is mercurial and flaunts everything from scientific, philosophical and religious musings, proverbs, mediation, personality questionnaires and even a multiple-choice question test. 
The novel is divided into two parts - in terms of its point of view. The wife of a man from Ohio is the narrator in the first part. She charts their romantic journey through her interior monologues and self-styled interviews as her marriage begins to collapse. The husband’s version of events is relegated to the background there. Offill switches to the third person in the second part, narrating from the points of view of both husband and wife. It is reminiscent of the technique Euripides used in his play, Medea, to make his readers to be emotionally invested in the wife when she’s talking about Jason. The second part of the novel shows the collapsing marriage from both ends.

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