Translated by Michael Sowa
With a little help from Hans Magnus Enzensberger
5 x 8 inches, 141 pp, 10 colour plates by Michael Sowa December 2010
ISBN : 9781906497668
Rs 395.00 (HB)
Hans Magnus Enzensberger has mastered poetry, novels, and the intricate balance between history and fiction, but he’s never done anything quite like this before. For the writing of Unlikely Progeny, Enzensberger developed a persona—Linda Quilt—complete with an imaginary biography. According to him, retired school teacher Linda Quilt was born in a small village near Stratford-upon-Avon, which has since vanished mysteriously from the maps of Great Britain and upon writing this collection of fables, Quilt sent them to Enzensberger, who was so impressed that he found a famous illustrator for her book and shepherded it to publication. And thus, here they are—from the imagination of Linda Quilt and the capable hands of Hans Magnus Enzensberger.
In the tradition of Edward Lear, Hilaire Belloc, and G. K. Chesterton, Linda Quilt’s imaginative tales recount the adventures of six bizarrely gifted child prodigies who wreak havoc on their baffled families. Sweet Melinda, for example, has a toad that hops out of her mouth each time she tells a lie; consequently, she’s fiercely committed to telling the truth even in the face of fat aunts who eat too much cream cake or pimpled boys who declare their love to her. In another, shy Howab realizes that he can make people disappear simply by saying his own name out loud—which just might doom some hated teachers to a grim fate. And then there’s dear Norm—the poor fellow is so utterly normal that nobody can remember him, not even his own parents, who wonder every day at the strange little boy who comes home from school.
The fantastic and creative stories, with equally marvelous illustrations by Michael Sowa, will capture the excitement of readers of all ages and have them debating whether these extraordinary children are sly monsters or innocent victims of their astonishing talents.
It is rumoured that Linda Quilt was born (c. 1950) in a small village near Stratford-upon- Avon which has since vanished mysteriously from the maps of Great Britain. german poet and editor Hans Magnus Enzensberger was so impressed when he received Quilt's unpublsihed manuscript in the mail that he found a famous illustrator for her book and saw to it that translations were published in Germany, Italy, Spain and Poland. Needless to say, he is delighted to witness the author's homecoming to Englsih literature.
Michael Sowa (b. 1945) paints pictures and illustrates books. Sanssouci has published his Arche Sowa, a collection of 55 celebrated animal portraits.
Seagull World Literature