Harald Voetmann’s eye-opening English debut, Awake, is the first book of his erudite, grotesque, and absurdist trilogy about mankind’s inhuman will to conquer nature

Available September 7, 2021

Awake

Fiction by Harald Voetmann

Translated from the Danish by Johanne Sorgenfri Ottosen

In a shuttered bedroom in ancient Italy, the sleepless Pliny the Elder lies in bed obsessively dictating new chapters of his Natural History to his slave Diocles. Fat, wheezing, imperious, and prone to nosebleeds, Pliny does not believe in spending his evenings in repose: No—to be awake is to be alive. There’s no time to waste if he is to classify every element of the natural world in a single work. By day Pliny the Elder carries out his many civic duties and gives the occasional disastrous public reading. But despite his astonishing ambition to catalog everything from precious metals to the moon, as well as a collection of exotic plants sourced from the farthest reaches of the world, Pliny the Elder still takes immense pleasure in the common rose. After he rushes to an erupting Mount Vesuvius and perishes in the ash, his nephew, Pliny the Younger, becomes custodian of his life’s work. But where Pliny the Elder saw starlight, Pliny the Younger only sees fireflies.

In masterfully honed prose, Voetmann brings the formidable Pliny the Elder (and his pompous nephew) to life. Awake is a comic delight about one of history’s great minds and the not-so-great human body it was housed in.

Buy from:

Paperback (published September 7, 2021)

ISBN
9780811230810
Trim Size
5x8
Page Count
112

Ebook

ISBN
9780811230827

Harald Voetmann

Danish writer