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Family Tales

Literaturhaus Basel

Two books that examine the complex web of family life: Ursula Frickers novel ‘Healthy Enough’ (Gesund genug) tells of a father who turns into a health fanatic and terrorises the family with his food mania long before organic food became mainstream. “Serves them right”, he would say with satisfaction when someone else suffered. Now he is himself suffering from the final stages of colon cancer and his daughter is called to his sickbed to care for him.

In Edith Gartmann’s novel ‘Sanctuary’ (Schongebiet) it is not fanaticism that grips the family, but deep silence. Told from the perspective of the young girl Lisa, the novel draws closer to the secret surrounding a death in the family. In everyday village life and from her grandparents she hears many stories, but nobody has ever mentioned the letters she finds in the sideboard, and she has to keep the questions they bring to herself.

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