Sweet Days of Discipline by Fleur Jaeggy

Fleur Jaeggy’s pen is an engraver’s needle depicting roots, twigs, and branches of the tree of madness—extraordinary.
Joseph Brodsky

Fleur Jaeggy

Tim Parks

Price: £8.99 (print), £5 (ebook)

B format paperback


eBook ISBN:

Original language:

Published by:
And Other Stories

Publication date:
8 February 2018

Set in postwar Switzerland, Fleur Jaeggy’s eerily beautiful novel begins simply and innocently enough: ‘At fourteen I was a boarder in a school in the Appenzell’. But there is nothing truly simple or innocent here. With the off-handed knowingness of a remorseless young Eve, the narrator describes life as a captive of the school and her designs to win the affections of the apparently perfect new girl, Frederique. As she broods over her schemes as well as on the nature of control and madness, the novel gathers a suspended, unsettling energy.

Praise for Sweet Days of Discipline and Fleur Jaeggy

  • ‘Startling and original―so disturbing and so haunting.’ Cathleen Schine, New York Review of Books
  • ‘Small-scale, intense, and impeccably focused.’ New Yorker
  • ‘Nothing rivals its intensity.’ Los Angeles Times
  • ‘How a novel could be so chilly and so passionate at the same time is a puzzle, but that icy-hot quality is only one of the distinctions of Sweet Days of Discipline.’ April Bernard, Newsday
  • ‘Jaeggy’s prose is superb.’ Amanda DeMarco, Financial Times
  • ‘Jaeggy is a master of the short form.’ Claire Hazelton, The Guardian
  • ‘Jaeggy is something of an offbeat legend in European literature, and, due to her unique, askance and often disarming view of the world, a favourite of The Big Issue’s . . . Jaeggy’s genius [is to] provide an innocuous orchard setting, then hand us a magnifying glass to see the cockroaches creeping in the undergrowth. And we are transfixed.’ Jane Graham, Best Spring 2018 Reads, The Big Issue
  • ‘It is thrilling to live in Jaeggy’s worlds, which are so intense they threaten to boil over, yet pull back just enough to keep their secrets.’ Publishers Weekly, starred review for I Am the Brother of XX
  • ‘Jaeggy’s astute compression of narrative detail is at once serene and startling. Beneath a placid, opalescent surface lurks a threat or violence that may or may not be realized, but which contributes to the profound impression that people and their lives are unpredictable, coursing with icy, barren wildness.’ Los Angeles Review of Books
  • ‘She has the enviable first glance for people and things, she harbors a mixture of distracted levity and authoritative wisdom.’ Ingeborg Bachmann
  • ‘A wonderful, brilliant, savage writer.’ Susan Sontag
  • ‘Fleur Jaeggy’s pen is an engraver’s needle depicting roots, twigs, and branches of the tree of madness―extraordinary.’ Joseph Brodsky

More information

  • Sweet Days of Discipline was Fleur Jaeggy’s first novel to be translated into English, and was originally published in the UK by William Heinemann in 1991.
  • Upon its Italian publication, it won the important prizes, the Premio Bagutta and the Premio Speciale Rapallo.
  • Find out more about Fleur Jaeggy and her short story collection I Am the Brother of XX.
  • Read an interview with Fleur Jaeggy in Tank Magazine.

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