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12 Swiss Books 2016

A Summer’s Tale

12 Swiss Books 2016A SUMMER’S TALE


“A love story, rich in clarity and atmospheric detail, in the rhythm and colours of daydreams.”

12 Swiss Books 2016

MIREILLE ZINDEL was born in 1973. She studied Germanic and Romance languages and literature; she lives and writes in Zürich. A Summer’s Tale is her third novel, following on from Laura Theiler (2010) and Irrgast (2008).
PHOTO © Dominique Meienberg





Meret and Jan hit it off the first time they meet. They’re both in their forties and married, with young children. They’re on Summer holiday with their families on the Ligurian coast – and on the same beach. They soon find themselves neighbours back home in Zürich, where Meret and Jan become lovers. Jan’s wife Romy looks the other way, and Meret’s husband Dres seems broad-minded about the affair. The lovers meet up in Paris and Milan or in a Zürich hotel.
Their happiness might have lasted and, as Meret says, might have become “their second life”. But was it anything other than pure fantasy? Did everything really happen the way Meret describes it in her long letter to Jan? Or did they just imagine it all? Mireille Zindel’s novel doesn’t just deal with the power of love; it shows the boredom that threatens love. And more than anything else, it demonstrates in gripping fashion how important storytelling is to love. Maybe letter-writing is the only way Meret can get close to her loved one – the lyrical ‘You’. “Stories”, says Meret at one point, “bring people together and are for that very reason a necessity of life.”

Read 23 pages from the book in German and English

TITLE Kreuzfahrt
PUBLISHER Kein & Aber, Zürich
ISBN 978-3-0369-5737-1
TRANSLATION RIGHTS Lisa Mühlemann, l.muehlemann@keinundaber.ch

German original

Es ist Sommer. Sie erkennt es schon am unendlich warmen Wind beim Verlassen des Hotels. Dann der Strand mit den bunten Schirmen und die Bar nahe am Wasser. Die Kinder wollen Zitronenlimonade. »Wenn es heiß ist, trinken wir Zitrone«, sagt der Kleinere. »Warum ist heiß?«, fragt der Größere. Die Mutter antwortet nicht. Sie denkt an einen fernen Abend, an dem sie hierher zurückkehren und kalten Wein bestellen wird… Read more

Excerpt translated by Jenny Piening @ Transfiction

It is summer. She can tell from the relentlessly warm wind as she steps out of the hotel. Then the beach with its brightly coloured sun umbrellas and the bar near the water’s edge. The children want lemonade. “When it’s hot we like to drink lemon,” says the younger of the two. “Why’s it hot?” asks the older child. The mother doesn’t answer. She is thinking about a far off evening, when she will return here and order a glass of cold white wine… Read more

Mireille Zindel describes exactly that very state we may never again experience, falling head over heels in love. Her writing is dense, atmospheric, poetic, riveting and full of empathy: this is a whirlpool of a book.MAX KÜNG

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