by Elvia Wilk

Oval
Elvia Wilk
Soft Skull Press - 18.00€ -  out of stock

In the near future, Berlin's real estate is being flipped in the name of "sustainability," only to make the city even more unaffordable; artists are employed by corporations as consultants; and the weather is acting strange. In search of affordable housing, young couple Anja and Louis move into a community on an artificial mountain, The Berg—yet another "eco-friendly" initiative run by a corporation called Finster. They're offered a home rent-free in exchange for keeping quiet about the seriously malfunctioning infrastructure of the experimental house. But when Louis returns home from his mother's funeral in America, Anja is convinced he has changed. He seems to be in denial of his grief and newly idealistic, consumed by a secret project at the NGO where he works as an artist-consultant. Anja is horrified when she discovers what Louis has invented: a pill called Oval that temporarily rewires the user's brain to be more generous. Louis is convinced that if he can introduce the drug into the Berlin club scene, he can finally remedy the income disparity that has made Berlin so unlivable.

Oval is a fascinating portrait of the unbalanced relationships that shape our world, as well as a prescient warning of what the future may hold.

Elvia Wilk is a writer and editor living in New York and Berlin. She writes about art, architecture, and technology for several publications, including frieze, Artforum, e-flux, Metropolis, Mousse, Flash Art, Art in America, and Zeit Online.

Death by Landscape
Elvia Wilk
Soft Skull Press - 17.00€ -

From the acclaimed author of the novel Oval comes a book of "fan nonfiction" about living and writing in the age of extinction.

In this constellation of essays, Elvia Wilk asks what kinds of narratives will help us rethink our human perspective toward Earth. The book begins as an exploration of the role of fiction today and becomes a deep interrogation of the writing process and the self.  

Wilk examines creative works across time and genre in order to break down binaries between dystopia and utopia, real and imagined, self and world. She makes connections between works by such wide-ranging writers as Mark Fisher, Karen Russell, Han Kang, Doris Lessing, Anne Carson, Octavia E. Butler, Michelle Tea, Helen Phillips, Kathe Koja, Jeff and Ann VanderMeer, and Hildegard von Bingen.  

What happens when research becomes personal, when the observer breaks through the glass? Through the eye of the fan, this collection delves into literal and literary world-building projects--medieval monasteries, solarpunk futures, vampire role plays, environments devoid of humans--bridging the micro and the macro and revealing how our relationship to narrative shapes our relationships to the natural world and to one another.

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