There's no doubt the boy is talented. They called him "little Mozart" in the town. But he's in prison now. Rightly or wrongly. Step by step, the reader descends into the depths of the boy's memory. With almost agonising artfulness, Evelyn Grill uncovers how a boy who grew up at his grandparents' home, without mother or friends, who was raised and educated, pampered and demeaned by his grandfather – the school's headmaster and an authority in town – became a suspect, perhaps even a killer. For the boy's grandmother is dead, murdered with a pickaxe, and his grandfather was at the inn when it happened. Evelyn Grill masterfully weaves together the threads of this cruel novel about everyday malice and the longing for recognition.
It’s been eight months since Titus’ mother disappeared without a trace. As a native Italian, she always remained a stranger in the village. His father had brought her with him from one of his expeditions. Rumors and suspicions quickly spread: Did she drown in the lake, did she run away with a lover, or was she the victim of a crime? Titus has been an outsider for years. He avoids people because of a burn scar in his face. The offer to live with and assist the new gravedigger seems like a good way to escape the confinement of his father’s home. As it turns out, the gravedigger is no stranger…
Evelyn Grill takes her readers on a journey into a dark world full of secrets. Thrilling suspense from first to last page!
When Henriette Stanley dies, the family standing at her grave is no longer large: There is Harry, her “mentally disturbed” son, on whom the shipowner family from Antwerp had once placed all their hopes. There is her daughter Ann with her German husband, whose marriage Henriette was unable to prevent even though it cost her Belgian inheritance after the War. And then there is the sister of her husband, who disappeared under suspicious circumstances many years before. Nobody speaks to her, even though she is the only one to know what happened to her brother and what the Antwerpian will really said. And she also knows that every attempt to forget is futile.
This novel is a magnificent painting and Evelyn Gill proves her mastery with it. She recounts the story of a marriage, a novel about a family full of cracks, which reveal the chasms of an entire century.
Xenia is a painter. When she gets a scholarship and is invited to Rome, she sees her chance to no longer live in the shadow as an artist. Xenia has just arrived in Rome when she receives a call by her sister from her homeland: Their mother, a famous writer, has collapsed at a lecture and is in a coma. The mother for whom her own prestige has always been more important than her family, her art more important than her children: Because of her Xenia shall travel back, turn down the chance to assert herself – not least towards the mother? The mother’s silence and death and her own distance force Xenia to grapple with her childhood, with her mother’s egoism and not least with her own art – the egoism of the daughter.
Xenia stays: because of her mother who is unreachable for her approaches, and because of Alma, the photographer, who disappears in a mysterious way; also she, without saying good-bye.
Evelyn Grill is unmistakable: sober-minded, lapidary, without sentimentality.
Evelyn Grill is endowed with the ability to draft lives with all their inherent ambivalence. (...) Beyond the fascination (...) terrifying biographies appear that are revealed with masterful precision by the narrow novel. Alongside the row of memorable characters (...) Evelyn Grill designs a Rome that sparkles with life and art (...). FAZ, Andreas Platthaus Even though it is more psychological than her last novels, "The Roman Light" is still typical of Grill: Clear language is combined with complex construction; the motives are artfully interwoven, and, likewise, ironically undermined. FALTER, Kirstin Breitenfellner
For the people of a remote village in the foothills of the Austrian Alps, Wilma is a spawn of hell, a monster, and surely not one of them: she is a retarded, corpulent and close-lipped child - and a child without parents. Her helplessness, however, engages the love and sympathy of Agnes, a widowed and childless woman, who both embraces and clings to her fosterling. In constant anxiety for Wilma, she tries to protect their little happiness against the locals, youth welfare officials and all external threats. But their happiness is based on dependence, and in a narrow, secluded world, this can prove lethal...
In this book, Evelyn Grill demonstrates once more why her recent novels "Vanitas" and "Der Sammler" [The Collector] made her one of the most provocative voices of contemporary German-speaking literature. She writes uncompromisingly succinct, without sentimentality or shallow morality, and she is never afraid to explore the abysmal depths of the human soul.
Let’s worship this author! ANTON THUSWALDNER, SALZBURGER NACHRICHTEN
Grill loves to search for strange hobbies and weird passions. Great! DER SPIEGEL
Collecting as an obsession: the touching story of a junkaholic defying throwaway society.
Alfred Irgang is a collector. However, he does not collect stamps or antiques, but simply anything that he comes across: old newspapers, false teeth that are as good as new, and other things that naïve members of the throwaway society surrender to the garbage collection. Accordingly, his apartment and various cellar compartments are remarkably filled to the brim, which in turn leads to considerable difficulties with the property managers, which, on the other hand, does not keep him from his hunt for treasures. Does not a lady’s corsage have as much of a story to tell as a Biedermeier davenport?
At the regular’s table, where a group of scientists and art lovers meet, the collector likes to present his treasures but naturally meets little appreciation. When after an “occupational accident” he is confined to a hospital bed, the regulars see their chance to force their blessings on him ….
It is with subtle irony that Evelyn Grill tells of a society that considers itself to be good, while the motto “to live and let live” is buried by the insatiable desire to usurp a maladjusted person.
It was not love that drove the ambitious lawyer Alois Hofstätter into marriage with the actress Olga, the much older widow of a deceased client; it was her standing and her fortune, her mature erotic charisma and the not insignificant circumstance that she was expecting his child. Hofstätter's true and eternal love belongs to art, and his passion to gambling. His wife pays his debts, and the child has meanwhile grown into a youth, in whom the practising aesthete finds compensation for the unreasonable physical and intellectual demands of his fading wife. The structure of the illusory upper-middle-class world that satisfies the decadent vanity of both is brittle – in the field of tension between outward prestige and inward discontent. A bitter power struggle which ultimately leads to a catastrophe.
With a ruthless eye for detail, Evelyn Grill draws a portrait of a callous but pitiable dandy for whom the aestheticising of everyday life replaces the education of the feelings.
Grill sketches her characters in a few confident strokes, in a language devoid of flourishes or empty phrases. She avoids sentimentality and false pity. This is way the way stories can still be told, without the all too palatable flavouring of a moral message (Wendelin Schmidt-Dengler).