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Nook & Cranny Books

Out of the Sugar Factory by Dorothee Elmiger

Out of the Sugar Factory by Dorothee Elmiger

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The narrator of Out of the Sugar Factory, Dorothee Elimger, is a writer, archivist—and possibly a hoarder—of objects and stories that speak to the profound impact of the sugar industry on the world. Seated in the room where her vast collection sprawls across the floor, she obsessively connects a violent global industry to our unsettled present. In this deeply researched and stylistically innovative novel, subjects as varied as the institutionalization of Ellen West, the Haitian Revolution, the films of Chantal Akerman, and Karl Marx's Capital come together to reveal a vast network of entrenched relationships.

As Elmiger ventures deeper and deeper into her material, blurring the lines between author and her fictional counterpart all along the way, she travels from French communes to Swiss sanatoriums, from upstate New York to a strip mall in Philadelphia. Every realization becomes a site of excavation. Old histories fall away. Newly unearthed truths glimmer and shriek. The work of a scholar and flâneuse who eventually finds herself as entangled as her subjects, Out of the Sugar Factory, in Megan Ewing’s matchless translation from German, is a prismatic account of a writer’s overwhelming need to tell a story that is true, to follow the sugar wherever it may lead

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