While certainly not a new genre in German literature, the Krimi is gaining fresh traction in Austria, Germany and Switzerland with authors such as Jan Costin Wagner and Heinrich Steinfest. The top prize in the field is the Friedrich Glauser Preis, and this year’s winner is Kurt Palm, with his attention grabbing title, Bad Fucking (Residenz Verlag, 2010). Which refers -- but not only -- to the name of the Austrian village in which this tale of murder and mayhem transpires. The cast of indisputably colorful characters includes the corpse Vitus Schallmoser, the gone-missing Interior Minister Karin Sperr, cleaning lady Jagoda Dragievi, who is blackmailing the village dentist based on some nude photos, and a group of cheerleaders-in-training (don’t ask).
In its statement, the Glauser jury declared Bad Fucking to be a “grandiose attack on the oppressiveness of everyday life, whether in an alpine village or the political sphere. Wicked, obscene and hilariously funny. That one is reminded of Thomas Bernhard is no accident.“ For a dose of what’s in store for readers, take a look at a slightly surreal reading by the author himself.
Nor is this the first highly individual title Palm has published. Consider Der Brechreiz eines Hottentotten: Ein James-Joyce-Alphabet von Aal bis Zahl or Suppe Taube Spargel sehr sehr gut: Essen und Trinken mit Adalbert Stifter. Ein literarisches Kochbuch.
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