Jan Wilm: The Yearbook of Winter

Erscheint am 27. August 2019

Jan Wilm
The Yearbook of Winter

novel, new

456pp (115,700 words)

He’s a foreigner, wandering beneath the palm trees, in the coastal city under the ever dazzling sun, and that is his misfortune. Jan Wilm is an aimless academic, a philologist devoid of future prospects. He has left his German academic past behind, and – to stave off unemployment – he is spending a year doing research in Los Angeles, funded with money from home. His object of research – in the Golden State, of all places – is snow. Wilm is expected to spend the year going through the estate of the forgotten photographer of snow, Gabriel Gordon Blackshaw (1898–1950). But how to write a book about snow in a place where it never snows? And how to forget a woman who you’ve lost and who binds you to your home, because you cannot stop loving her and you fail to forget her?

Loss, the loss of self, death, and the vague reality of one’s place in the world – how can a language be found to grasp these, a language that is at once able to archive and to obliterate?
THE YEARBOOK OF WINTER employs and expands the possibilities of literature. It points toward the future of literary language yet is also a homage to its literary traditions.

»In Jan Wilm’s The Yearbook of Winter, the always fascinating yet virtually unknown work of the Californian snow photographer Gabriel Gordon Blackshaw is given a moving and extremely interesting appraisal.«
Christian Kracht

»What Uwe Johnson did for New York, Jan Wilm has done for Los Angeles: He has made the city his own. His diary-novel is a masterpiece of metafiction, fueled by meta-yearning.«
Joshua Cohen