How High the Water Rises

“Anja Kampmann dares to travel to the roots of our present times – atmospheric, intense and sensual.” - Lutz Seiler

One stormy night on an oil platform in the middle of the ocean, rig hand Wenzel Groszak loses his only friend and his last foothold in life. Anja Kampmann tells the story of his return from abroad, and of his attempt to come back from a never-ending world of work to resume his own life. Wenzel first travels to Hungary to return his friend’s belongings to the family. There, he starts to remembers his departure from humble beginnings: the constrictions, his childhood mining town, and Milena, whom he left behind years ago. And now? Should he go back to work on a platform? He discards his work clothes; and with an old pickup truck and a homing pigeon, he sets off from Italy via the Alps into a defunct industrial area. And the closer he gets to Milena, his great love, the more uncertain it seems whether he will ever arrive.

In succinct, poetic language, Anja Kampmann’s astonishing novel tells the story of a world unknown to most: the fascinating debut of an unusual new voice.

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