Mauri Pertuska, a principal and PE teacher, falls ill with lung cancer. He doesn’t have long to live. And in that short time, he has a lot of loose ends to tie up. Pertuska finds his Jewish father’s diary. It chronicles his colourful years as a businessman and circus artist in Germany in the 1930s, when fascism was on the rise. Mauri hands in his resignation and travels to a small town in former Eastern Germany, vengeance on his mind. He acquires an illegal pistol, but in the end, the instrument of his revenge is the cut-off tail of a German pig dog. Mauri is shot with his own pistol – and unexpectedly gets his life back.
Schweinehund is classic Katz: multilayered, ironic, sceptical of official truths and institutions. With a virtuoso’s skill, the novelist observes everyday life and tackles ideological problems – and shows that laughter can be the best weapon. Katz has a stunning sense of history and brings a timely perspective to the table in a world of polarised opinions.
French (Gaia Editions)