Ariane Koch was born in Basel and studied fine arts and interdisciplinarity. She writes—often in collaboration—theater and performance texts, radio plays, and prose. Her texts have won numerous awards and have been performed in places like Basel, Berlin, Cairo, Istanbul, and Moscow. Overstaying is her debut novel.

Damion Searls has translated sixty books of literature and philosophy from German, Norwegian, French, and Dutch, including the novels of Jon Fosse, winner of the 2023 Nobel Prize for Literature. His own writing includes fiction, poetry, a biography of the creator of the Rorschach test, and The Philosophy of Translation. 

pages: 176

format: paperback original

isbn: 978-1-948980-19-7

publication date: 9/3/2024

Overstaying

Ariane Koch

Translated by Damion Searls


“In Koch’s light, precise and yet dreamlike language, scenes emerge that—as in the theater of the absurd—seem at first to make no sense at all and then a tremendous amount of sense.” aspekte Prize Committee

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Winner of the aspekte Prize, the most prestigious German prize for debut fiction, Swiss playwright and visual artist Ariane Koch’s Overstaying is an absurdist tour de force.

“I don’t see my writing as chronological or classically narrative, but as spatial—a kind of architecture. I keep adding rooms, and readers can take different paths through the rooms,” writes Ariane Koch of Overstaying, her anarchically comic debut. Koch’s narrator is an impudent young woman, a contemporary Bartleby living alone in her parents’ old house in the small hometown she hates but can’t bring herself to leave. When a visitor turns up, promisingly new, she takes him in, and instantly her life revolves around him. Yet it is hard to tell what, exactly, this visitor is. A mooch, a lover, an absence, a presence—possibly a pet? Mostly, he is a set of contradictions, an occasion for Koch’s wild imagination to take readers in brilliant and unexpected directions.

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Overstaying has the makings of a classic.” Die Zeit

“A brave debut, remarkable in its literary aesthetics.” Christian Metz, Deutschlandfunk

“In Koch’s light, precise and yet dreamlike language, scenes emerge that—as in the theater of the absurd—seem at first to make no sense at all and then a tremendous amount of sense. Derrida, writing about hospitality, stated that absolute hospitality means opening one’s home: to give place not only to the stranger, but also to the unknown, to the other, without expecting reciprocity. Koch skillfully varies this postmodern utopia of opening oneself to the unknown in her impressive literary debut.” aspekte Prize Committee

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Ariane Koch was born in Basel and studied fine arts and interdisciplinarity. She writes—often in collaboration—theater and performance texts, radio plays, and prose. Her texts have won numerous awards and have been performed in places like Basel, Berlin, Cairo, Istanbul, and Moscow. Overstaying is her debut novel.

Damion Searls has translated sixty books of literature and philosophy from German, Norwegian, French, and Dutch, including the novels of Jon Fosse, winner of the 2023 Nobel Prize for Literature. His own writing includes fiction, poetry, a biography of the creator of the Rorschach test, and The Philosophy of Translation. 

pages: 176

format: paperback original

isbn: 978-1-948980-19-7

publication date: 9/3/2024

 

cover art:

Lucie Kohler © 2022
Sur la plage abandonnée

A4 29.7cm x 21cm, pencils on paper

Lucie Kohler was born in 1985 and lives and works in Lutry, Switzerland. She graduated from HEAD in Geneva (2009) and Ecole de Recherches Graphiques in Brussels (2011). She works mainly with drawings and ceramics. Her work appears in institutions, galleries, and art spaces, such as Museo Villa dei Cedri (CH), Forma art contemporain (CH), Espace Arlaud (CH), Centre d’Art Contemporain d’Yverdon (CH), Gallery Vanha Kappalaisentalo (FIN), Kaskadenkondensator (CH), and others. Learn more about her at her website.