Margit Schreiner: The Human Equation

Johann Beer Prize

Margit Schreiner
The Human Equation


240pp (44,400 words)

A married couple are longing for a holiday with friends on a remote island far from civilisation – one where they don't bring the kids. But just before they’re due to leave, Sarah shows up on their doorstep. The narrator and her husband, who had hoped to reflect on the simple, essential things in life in the austere landscape of the island, suddenly become a surrogate family for the young woman. Bringing her dog Habibi and a tragic past, Sarah joins them on their trip.
When Sarah unexpectedly entrusts the narrator with her diary, the latter is confronted with the fate of Sarah’s German-Israeli family, whom she had known earlier in life. As the friends stumble into all sorts of sticky situations on the island, they discover how easily anyone can be thrown out of balance. In the end, their stay on the island changes more than just Sarah’s life.

»Margit Schreiner is a wonderfully enigmatic storyteller, savouring the confusion.«
Daniela Strigl

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Turkey - Yapi Kredi

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»A work that is both aesthetically and thematically outstanding, telling of the uncertainties of life and about dealing with existential requirements and needs.«
Johann Beer Prize, Jury Statement

»Her language is clear and profound, no embellishments or opulent metaphors block the view of the essential - the essential being the insufficiency of mankind, our interaction with nature and how we deal with relationships. (...) Once again, Margit Schreiner proves herself a brilliant writer.«
Die Presse

»Schreiner's language is cunningly down-to-earth and resonates with self-mocking humour. (...) As usual, the author maintains a decent diction. The diaristic style however should not blind us from the art of the composition.«
Neue Zürcher Zeitung

»Especially the raw and unaltered feeling of Margit Schreiner’s style, who has been writing for years without compromise, turns out to be a very artistic way to get through to the core of man. To go where it gets really interesting.«
Frankfurter Neue Presse

Margit Schreiner elaborately depicts the search for balance in life, between memory and future, death and life, Man and nature. (...) Never gloomy or dark, but poetic and convincing.«
Literatur Kurier

»With THE HUMAN EQUATION Margit Schreiner presents us with an enthralling, intelligently woven book. A summer read that will carry you away.«
Österreichischer Rundfunk (TV)

»Nothing in her writing is artificially charged with meaning, Schreiner sticks to the essential (...).«
Oberösterreichische Nachrichten (OÖN)

»The Human Equation is an innovative and moving novel about the unreliability of memory and the limitations of subjective perception (…) whose themes are accessible and unequivocally compelling. Margit Schreiner’s perceptive writing is reminiscent of A.L. Kennedy and Sarah Hall and will strike a chord with English-language readers.«
New Books in German

»It is the cracks, abysses and inconsistencies of life that the trained psychologist is most interested in.«
Oberösterreich heute

»So clever and entertaining that the hope for healing grows with every letter.«
Moka Magazin

More titles by Margit Schreiner

Margit Schreiner: Home, Women, Sex.Margit Schreiner: My First Negro. StoriesMargit Schreiner: They Call it LoveMargit Schreiner: Naked FathersMargit Schreiner: The Eskimo RollMargit Schreiner: The Book of DisillusionmentsMargit Schreiner: TrespassMargit Schreiner: Does Thomas Bernhard write Women’s Literature?Margit Schreiner: The Beasts of ParisMargit Schreiner: No Room LeftMargit Schreiner: Are You Really Fit Enough?Margit Schreiner: Father. Mother. Child. Declarations of WarMargit Schreiner: Mothers. Fathers. Men. Class WarsMargit Schreiner: Mobilization