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Books of the Year 2018- A Literary Advent Calendar – Scottish Review of Books

Thick of It

Ulrike Almut Sandig
Seagull £12.99
by SRB

Books of the Year 2018- A Literary Advent Calendar

December 7, 2018 | by SRB


We’ve asked Scotland’s leading writers, booksellers, festival directors and critics to pick one, or two, books — published this year or in the past — that they most enjoyed reading in 2018. There will be new selections every day throughout December — so keep reading for great ideas about what to read next and visit your nearest high street bookshop to purchase your Christmas gifts! Today’s selection is from Annie Rutherford.


Eerie, surreal and unsettling: Ulrike Almut Sandig’s poems are dreamlike in the truest sense of the word. Sandig’s collection Thick of It, translated by Karen Leeder, (Seagull, £12.99, hbk) showcases one of Germany’s most exciting contemporary poets. (And I mean exciting: Sandig’s live performances combine poetry with techno.) I love her poems’ immediacy, boldly telling the reader that “no. it’s not about you”, but also their prescient political nature; forests weave their way through the collection, and Sandig seems to be re-writing Brecht’s urgent question,

“What kind of times are these when

To talk about trees is almost a crime

Because it implies silence about so many horrors?”

Annie Rutherford is Programme Co-ordinator at StAnza and blogs about German books in translation. Her translation of Nora Gomringer, Hydra’s Heads, appeared in 2018 (Burning Eye Books, £9.99, pbk). You can find her on Twitter @slender_means.

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