Gert Loschütz: Ballad of the Day Not Done

Gert Loschütz
Ballad of the Day Not Done

Fiction, new

208pp (51.000 words)

For Karsten Leiser, it isn’t summer if it doesn’t smell of chamomile, poplars aren’t poplars if they aren’t lining a channel, and streets are not really streets if they aren’t chaussées. During a sleepless night, he tells his girlfriend Vera why: because his landscape is always the landscape of the childhood he had to leave behind one morning. “Look carefully at everything because you won’t see it again”, his mother told the little boy on the eve of their flight from the German Democratic Republic. Karsten commits everything to memory, which he now revisits on every anniversary of their flight. It doesn’t matter how far he travels as a travel writer or how many hotels he stays at to undo that first, decisive night in a hotel; the past always returns, like the leather suitcase from long ago that he simply can’t get rid of.
In his spare and artful novel Ballad of the Day Not Done, Gert Loschütz, German literature’s great contemporary excavator of the past, unflinchingly reveals the rage and despair of a man robbed of his center.


»Gert Loschütz is a master of precise description. With his sentences, he brings landscapes to life in which present and past times intertwine.«

»This little book by Gert Loschütz is over 30 years old [...]. Now, newly published, it seems completely present and transcends itself - as great literature does.«
Susanne Mayer, DIE ZEIT

»It's about atmospheric images. Loschütz is great at that. The lightly dabbed scenes of sledging [...], of walking barefoot through bright summer meadows, [...] the wide views, are captivating.«
Edelgard Abendstein, Deutschlandfunk Kultur Lesart

»It is this sensual prose that evokes a rapturous childhood when you read it, no matter where you experienced it.«
Edelgard Abendstein, Deutschlandfunk Kultur Lesart

»Finally, the writer Gert Loschütz is getting the recognition he deserves.«
Helmut Böttiger, Süddeutsche Zeitung

»In this book lies the cornerstone of his storytelling, all others can be traced back to it.«
Ulrich Sonnenschein, hr2 »Doppelkopf«

More titles by Gert Loschütz

Gert Loschütz: On the Pear Tree MeadowGert Loschütz: Dark CompanyGert Loschütz: The ThreatGert Loschütz: A Fine CoupleGert Loschütz: Revisiting a Tragedy