Carolina Schutti was born in 1976 in Innsbruck, where she still lives. She studied German philology, English and American Studies, concert guitar and classical voice. After several years of teaching and following her PhD on Elias Canetti, she taught at the University of Florence, followed by a post as a research assistant at Literaturhaus am Inn. From 2009-2013 she was a board member of Brenner Forum in Innsbruck as well as a member of the board of trustees of Brenner-Archiv. Her publications include essays on literary studies, literary reviews and other texts in literary magazines. She coordinates and moderates literary events and interdisciplinary projects, works as a juror, gives lectures on poetry and holds training seminars in the field of Neue Literatur. Schutti has received a number of awards for her literary work.
EUPL Year 2015 | Winning Book
EINMAL MUSS ICH ÜBER WEICHES GRAS GELAUFEN SEIN
(ONCE I MUST HAVE TRODDEN SOFT GRASS), 2012
Carolina Schutti’s novel is dedicated to the grandmothers. We are told this early on in this slim volume which takes us into the female narrator’s world – a sad and archaic world with no place for love, joy or carefree innocence. After her mother’s death, Maja is taken in by her aunt who feeds her and gives her a place to sleep but leaves her in the dark about her past. They live in a nameless village in a remote region and in very poor circumstances. Every attempt by Maja to remember her past leads nowhere. Marek, an elderly man who speaks a strange and mysterious language and lives on his own in another remote and lonely house, is the only person who can make Maja feel at home and accepted. In a clear and poetic style, Schutti describes the situation of people who have been displaced and she does so in an entirely non-political and clear-sighted way. The search for identity, as suggested in the title Einmal muss ich über weiches Gras gelaufen sein (Once I Must Have Walked on Soft Grass), determines the narrator’s life throughout the remainder of the story. And although we’re eventually told that she is from Belarus, and in spite of the book’s referral to the past by dedicating it to the grandmothers, the theme of this novel contains a very contemporary dimension which could apply to countless regions of the world.
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