Proleterka cover
Fleur Jaeggy


A fifteen-year-old girl and her father, Johannes, take a cruise to Greece on the Proleterka. Jaeggy recounts the girl’s youth in her distinctively strange, telescopic prose: the remarried mother, cold and unconcerned; the father who was allowed only rare visits with the child; the years spent stashed away with relatives or at boarding school. For the girl and her father, their time on the ship becomes their ‘last and first chance to be together.’ On board, she becomes the object of the sailors’ affection, receiving a violent, carnal education. Mesmerised by the desire to be experienced, she crisply narrates her trysts as well as her near-total neglect of her father. Proleterka is a ferocious study of distance, diffidence and ‘insomniac resentment.’

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EBook: £5
Print status: Available
Author: Fleur Jaeggy
Translator: Alastair McEwen
Original language: Italian
Format: paperback
Publication date: 28 March 2019
ISBN: 9781911508564
Ebook ISBN: 9781911508571
Number of pages: 96


Barbara Epler
TANK Magazine

Proleterka is a ferocious study - a masterclass in distance , diffidence, death, and ‘insomniac resentment.’

Emily Rhodes
The Spectator

'The fierceness of her words erupts from the seams of her tiny sentences ... Jaeggy’s highly unusual work is finally gaining recognition in the English-speaking world.'

Sheila Heti
New Yorker

‘Her sentences are hard and compact, more gem than flesh. Images appear as flashes, discontinuous, arresting, then gone.’

Emily Labarge

‘Jaeggy’s Proleterka is a strange and compressed space in which time eddies, tenses tilt and perspectives wheel: an enclosed universe with a logic of its own.’

Kirkus Reviews

Proleterka is an elegantly structured and stubbornly moving study of innocence destroyed and love denied.’

Tim Parks

‘Jaeggy is absolutely sui generis. She obeys no conventions. Every sentence in Proleterka is a surprise, every turn of thought unsettling.’

Susan Salter Reynolds
Los Angeles Times

‘When translator Alastair McEwen writes "the sound would come coiling out," he knows it has to have the same snap, crackle and pop now as five, 10, 100 years from now. And he makes sure it does.’