PUBLISHERS OF LITERARY FICTION SINCE 1983
'There's a great deal of foreshadowing in the novel, and so much of it seems very simple and straightforward, but it's really quite a remarkably intricate picture: unlike Hans, Keyserling really gets to what's beneath with his almost effortless-seeming easy surface brushstrokes. The exchanges of dialogue are excellent, and the atmosphere very well realised.
Waves is a beautiful novel, appearing, at first glance, to be deceptively simple but in fact astonishingly rich.'
Originally published in 1911, and now rereleased over a century later, the world Eduard von Keyserling describes in Waves– of an aristocracy weighed down by generations of tradition and rigid moral codes – seems more distant than even 100 years ago. Rippling with an undercurrent of melancholia, the book is set in an unspecified Baltic Sea fishing village during a summer in the pre-war years. We follow a group of upper-class Germans as they swim, squabble, and strive to interact beyond the boundaries of their strict upbringings. A distant era it may be, yet Keyserling imbues his characters with the mistakes we continue to make, and his vivid descriptions of the interplay between sunlight and sea are gorgeous – a simpler beauty, perhaps, in the midst of a coming storm.