In the Austrian state of Styria lies the Helianau Institute, a boarding school for children born with a mysterious condition known as Indigo syndrome. Anyone who comes near them immediately suffers from nausea and vertigo. Clemens Setz-a fictionalized doppelganger of the author-is a young math teacher who loses his job at the school after attempting to investigate the mysterious "relocations" of several children. Fourteen years later, Robert, a former student, discovers a newspaper article about Setz's acquittal for the murder of an animal abuser. Could there be a connection between this story, which continues to haunt Robert, and the puzzling events of the past? DeLillo-esque in its exploration of alienation and anxiety, Indigo weaves together bizarre historical anecdotes, such as Edison's electrocution of an elephant, with pop cultural marginalia and pseudoscience to create a "literary work that makes its own laws . . . rich in dialogue and variety, amusing and anecdotal, but also brutal and unfathomable" (Der Spiegel).
"It's inevitable that Setz will be compared to Thomas Pynchon, for his narrative has a similar complexity, nuance and, yes, even paranoia." -- Kirkus Reviews "Alarming and surreally beautiful... Part postmodern thriller, part essay into the darker reaches of prejudice, Indigo offers a set of terrifying hypotheses, many of which remain hauntingly unrealized. Setz has conducted a masterly interrogation of the prurience, morbid curiosity and exploitation that informs contemporary society, introducing a cast of memorably repellent characters. At the same time, he creates a psychological atmosphere in which it is possible for us to feel compassion even for some of his more sinister creations." -- John Burnside - Times Literary Supplement (UK) "The questions [Indigo] raises regarding empathy and loneliness are explored in moving and idiosyncratic ways." -- New Yorker
About Clemens J. Setz
Clemens J. Setz is the author of two previous novels and the winner of the Leipzig Book Fair Prize and the Ernst-Willner-Preis at the Ingeborg Bachmann Competition in 2008. He lives in Austria. Ross Benjaminis an acclaimed German-language translator. He lives in Nyack, New York.
Indigo: A Novel by Clemens J. Setz
Clemens J. Setz
Used - Very Good
WW Norton & Co
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