North Rhine-Westphalia Award
Moerser Literature Award
winner of the Berlin open mike contest.
Who Walks Where Behind the Coffin?
English sample translation (pdf)
A remarkable debut: gripping, bizarre tales from a new story-teller.
Two men in a train compartment fight a silent battle; a man can only handle life if he is digging; bereaved relatives hold a discussion: who will walk behind the coffin? A herd of pigs break loose and hurl themselves into the nearby lake.
Markus Orths‘ short stories are unusual and multi-layered, they tease the reader’s expectations (ducking and twisting from them) and convince through their suggestive power of language and penetrating images. The seventeen stories that comprise this book reveal a skilled writer, capable of conjuring up the undreamt-of and describing it such a way that no reader can resist.
»Markus Orths masters the full spectrum of literary form. (...) Comically grotesque, subtly perceptive, or factually reporting, Markus Orths is a narrator of impressive style, a language artist. A lot more is to be expected from this fine writer.«
Lower Rhine Literature Award, the Jury
»Some of the tales are reminiscent of Edgar Allen Poe, and there can scarcely be higher praise.«
»Markus Orths loves the morbid. And yet his book is anything but dismal. The author’s delight in drollness ensures this, as does the curious intensity of his prose.«
»Orths is a storyteller who’s engaged in linguistically plumbing the depths of the human consciousness. Sometimes, as though from afar, the reader hears a reverberation of Kafka’s voice in Orths‘ stories.«
Hellmuth Karasek, Tagesspiegel