The committee »New Books in German« has selected the literary thriller (based on a true crime story) among the books that have the best chance of international success. All listed books will receive translation funding from the Goethe Institute. The Committee‘s review can be read here: https://www.new-books-in-german.com/recommendations/krumholz/ A translation sample will follow.
About the book:
The novel is based on a real crime committed in Switzerland in 1914, when a young woman was found brutally murdered in the woods near Krumbach in the canton of Lucerne. The perpetrator was sentenced to death by guillotine, becoming the last person to be executed in Lucerne before the death penalty was abolished there. Krumholz describes the lives of the deaf girl Agatha and her murderer, Torecht Innozenz Hilar.
Agatha’s mother dies when she is born. When her father commits suicide several years later, the superstitious villagers take the deaf girl to the district poorhouse and asylum, fearing that she will bring bad luck if she stays with them. Living in a world with no sound, Agatha grasps her surroundings visually, and the reader experiences life at the asylum through her eyes. Although she is often treated cruelly by the nuns, she enjoys moments of joy and happiness whenever she manages to hide away and watch the world go by.
Agatha learns to sew and eventually leaves the asylum to work at a textile factory. She has a pleasant room of her own, enjoys the company of the other workers and is content. For a while, her future looks brighter than she could have possibly hoped, but then she is diagnosed with tuberculosis and sent to the country to recuperate. Every day, she goes to sit in the woods, taking her embroidery with her for something to do. Then one day she fails to return.