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"A gripping debut novel... there's no shortage of climate fiction these days, but this one is distinguished by its striking vision." —Publishers Weekly
Skalde writes her thoughts on pieces of paper, making new discoveries and revelations, and finding scraps with which to understand her limited world. Her mother Edith tells her little, preferring the solitude of her room. Their house is full of silence, and secrets.
Skalde has only ever known life in the territory, a terrain of farms and forest cut off from the rest of the world. They are isolated further, as decades since Edith’s arrival in the territory she is still viewed as an outsider by their remaining neighbors. A heavy fog hangs over the territory, Skalde has never seen blue in the sky her entire childhood― but one day the fog dissipates, and is replaced by an oppressive, perpetual heat. The territory dries out, and its people become increasingly erratic, and desperate.
When Skalde finds a girl called Meisis in the forest, Skalde instantly feels she must care for her and brings her in. They form a family unit, in spite of Skalde’s increasing frustrations and anger with Edith and the urgent need to keep Meisis hidden. Meisis’s presence means there has been a serious breach in security for the territory, and soon neighbors find a way to blame Meisis’s arrival on other changes.
Beautifully written in immersive, spare prose, Helene Bukowski’s debut novel is about what it means to care for one another at the end of the world, about living with the impacts of climate change, and nationalism and the way we view “outsiders.” Jen Calleja’s translation from German is a lively rendition of this modern-day fairytale, of three women living on the brink.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781951213350
Publisher: The Unnamed Press
Publication date: 09/20/2021
Pages: 223
Sales rank: 696,683
Product dimensions: 5.00(w) x 8.10(h) x 0.90(d)

About the Author

Helene Bukowski, born in Berlin in 1993, is studying creative writing and cultural journalism in Hildesheim. She is the co-author of the documentary film Zehn Wochen Sommer, which won a Grimme Special Cultural Award in 2015. Her writing has appeared in various journals and anthologies, and she was the co-editor of BELLA triste.

Jen Calleja is the author of I’m Afraid That’s All We’ve Got Time For (Prototype), Goblins (Rough Trade Books) and Serious Justice (Test Centre). She is a literary translator from German of Marion Poschmann, Wim Wenders, Kerstin Hensel, Michelle Steinbeck, Gregor Hens, and more. Her translation of The Pine Islands was shortlisted for the Man Booker International Prize 2019.

What People are Saying About This

From the Publisher

"In Milk Teeth, Helene Bukowski has created a world as eerie, unsettling and immersive as that of Samanta Schweblin’s Fever Dream. Her prose is as spare as the climate-change dystopia she depicts: harsh, unforgiving, and rife with social tension—but dotted with pockets of care. Come for the propulsive mystery, stay for the tenderness pulsing underneath it." —Jessica Gross, author of Hysteria

“Helene Bukowski has written a modern-day fairy-tale. Warm-hearted yet not sentimental. Familiar and yet mysterious. For a few days I lived there, in that old house by the forest with Skalde, Edith and Meisis, and when it was over I had to be wrenched out of the door by force. Rarely have characters taken such hold of my heart.” —Philipp Winkler, author of Hooligan

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