Cold Enough for Snow

Cold Enough for Snow Jessica Au

A mother and daughter travel from abroad to meet in Tokyo: they walk along the canals through the autumn evenings, escape the typhoon rains, share meals in small cafe´s and restaurants, and visit galleries to see some of the city’s most radical modern art. All the while, they talk: about the weather, horoscopes, clothes, and objects, about family, distance, and memory. But uncertainties abound. Who is really speaking here – is it only the daughter? And what is the real reason behind this elliptical, perhaps even spectral journey? At once a careful reckoning and an elegy, Cold Enough for Snow questions whether any of us speak a common language, which dimensions can contain love, and what claim we have to truly know another’s inner world.

  • ‘Slim, beautifully simple ... Au’s new work ... shows that she has learnt to play to her strengths.… She finds momentum in the closely observed oscillations of a single relationship.’— Baya Simons, Financial Times
  • ‘Au’s novel is ... masterly in the way it evokes our dissociation from desire—our own and other people’s.... We can sense it in the soft, patient warmth of Au’s prose, which sometimes feels attuned to truths just out of the narrator’s reach.’— Peter C. Baker, New Yorker
  • ‘This slim, expertly crafted and beguiling novella that flits between the past and present was the inaugural winner of the international Novel Prize. There is an absolute certainty to Jessica Au’s prose, but the evanescent story she tells—of a young woman who takes her mother on a trip to Japan, their conversations and reflections on their lives—abounds with ambiguities.’— Jason Steger, Sydney Morning Herald
  • ‘This novella is graceful and precise. Like the narrator fine-tuning the aperture on her Nikon camera, Au seems to say, we have to choose our scale, what we pay attention to.... Finally, we bump up against what is not knowable. Au has mentioned her taste for “subverting narrative expectation … open endings, scenes in which nothing happens yet everything happens”. Cold Enough for Snow is exactly this, a book of inference and small mysteries. The stories, memories and images Au puts on the table escape easy conclusions … Aesthetic, opaque, endlessly uncoiling.’ — Imogen Dewey, Guardian
  • ‘This clever, phantom-like work eludes definition.’— Catherine Taylor, Guardian
  • ‘Au’s is a book of deceptive simplicity, weaving profound questions of identity and ontology into the fabric of quotidian banality....What matters, the novel reassures us, is constantly imbricated with the everyday, just as alienation and tender care can coexist in the same moment.’ — Claire Messud, Harpers 

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Bijlmerplein 1009, Amsterdam
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Fitzcarraldo Editions
104 pp.
Engelstalige literatuur

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