Urs Faes

Daytimes - Novel

(German title: Untertags)
ca. 200 pages
Urs Faes
Foto: Urs Faes
© Jürgen Bauer

Urs Faes, born in Aarau in 1947, lives and works in Zurich and in San Feliciano (Italy). In 2008 he was awarded the Preis der Schweizerischen Schillerstiftung.

Rights available

On the existential experience of loss

Talking against forgetting

»Saying goodbye would happen slowly. Including to the words.«


A man and a woman meet late in life and experience once again deep affection and happiness, in everyday life and on travels to the landscape of his youth – the Rocky Mountains in Wyoming. But their delights are soon joined by the infirmities of old age, Jakov becomes increasingly forgetful.

A name fails to materialise, an appointment is missed, a garbage bag is thrown into the neighbour’s pond. The doctor’s exam reveals: Jakov’s memory has not just become sketchy. His orientation is also going to keep disappearing, his language is going to run dry. Herta struggles to stay optimistic, but the more Jakov loses touch with the world and is reeled in by his past – a former lover, the falling-out with his father – the more she needs support as well.

With great tenderness Urs Faes observes a couple under the pressure of sickness. He talks about intimate moments and increasing distance, about care and exhaustion, about the bewilderment when a person loses their self and long-since suppressed things become present again. And about the power of empathy, an understanding beyond words.


»Urs Faesʼ novels talk about the attempt to love and to cope with love and life.« Sibylle Birrer, Neue Zürcher Zeitung

»Faes talks about […] the subliminal and the submerged that breaks forth and questions all certainties of the life lived until then. It is moving and lends a great, convincing power to this […] book.« Rainer Moritz, Neue Zürcher Zeitung

Other publications

Raunächte/Twelve Nights (2018)

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English world rights (Harvill Secker), Netherlands (De Bezige Bij)

Paarbildung/Pairing (2010)

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Romania (Univers)

Liebesarchiv/Archive of Love (2007)

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Chinese simplex rights (Alpha Books), Bulgaria (Atlantis)

Und Ruth/Und Ruth (2001)

Rights available

Ombra/Ombra (1997)

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Previously published in the respective language / territory; rights available again: Czech Republic (Archa), Lithuania (Alma Littera)

Sommerwende/Sommerwende (1989)

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Czech Republic (Hornad)