GRM / Brainfuck
Winner of the Swiss Book Award 2019
Swiss Grand Prix Literature 2020
Bertolt Brecht Award 2020 for her life's work
Recommended by New Books in German (Translation funding via Pro Helvetia)
English sample translation by Tim Mohr available
SPIEGEL Bestseller – highest position #4
#5 on SWR List of Best Books in May 2019
“Maybe the individual was never important. It just wasn’t quite as obvious as it is now.”
This is a manifesto for fury, for escape, for individual revolt, it is the story of four kids from highly unstable homes in one of the bleakest regions in England, the deindustrialised north-west. Rochdale is a town devoid of hope, a town in which poverty, violence and abuse are part of daily life, a place where kids have to grow up too quickly. The only thing that binds together the angry, martial-arts-obsessed Don(atella); the traumatised Polish boy Peter; the albino girl Karen; and Hannah, an orphan from Liverpool, is their hatred of their lived reality, their love of grime (or GRM) – the music style that has replaced punk as the music of the angry and dispossessed – and their determination to get revenge on the people responsible for their misery.
Their thirst for revenge leads them to London, where they encounter degenerate conservatives, conspiracy theorists, programmers vacillating between megalomania and impotence, cynical secret agents, Chinese power brokers, algorithms that have developed a life of their own, and multitudes of losers who spend their days reliving their own pathetic pasts by means of virtual reality. But what started out as a hit squad turns into a makeshift family as the four kids attempt, with limited success, to create a home for themselves in an abandoned factory on the city’s outskirts.