Nina Bußmann

Earth’s Mantle is Hot and Partially Molten - Novel

Nina Bußmann
Foto: Nina Bußmann
© Heike Steinweg

Nina Bußmann, born in 1980 in Frankfurt am Main, studied general and comparative literature and philosophy in Berlin and Warsaw and currently lives in Berlin. She has received various awards for her work, including the 3sat Prize at the Ingeborg Bachmann Prize 2011 for an excerpt from her debut novel, Große Ferien (Long Vacation).

Rights available

»Whoever disappears wants to be sought.«


On a clear day in the Caribbean a propeller plane with the 32-year-old seismologist Nelly on board suddenly disappears from the radar. After months of searching, pieces of wreckage are found in the jungles of Nicaragua. But of Nelly not a trace remains. At home in Frankfurt, her girlfriend cannot get over her disappearance. She travels to Managua, settles into Nelly’s old room, reads the notes and diaries she left behind and talks with the people who knew her there, driven by a strange obsession that seems to be keeping her from confronting a secret in her own life. And in this way, her search for Nelly steadily takes on the contours of escape.

Earth’s Mantle is Hot and Partially Molten is a novel about otherness and loneliness, a novel about private and political threats, about the desire to disappear and the hope to be sought and held, at least in memory.


»What makes this novel so bold and successful is the way Nina Bussman creates an expanding void with and around the absent person which threatens to swallow everything and everyone around it.« Martin Zingg, NEUE ZÜRCHER ZEITUNG AM SONNTAG

»Bussmann drafts an elaborate, permeable web of instability.« Judith von Sternburg, FRANKFURTER RUNDSCHAU

»Nina Bußmann is a precise painter of blessings.« Hubert Winkels, Die Zeit

»Nina Bußmann’s latest book is no less perfect [than Große Ferien]. With a great sense of presence, Earth’s Mantle is Hot and Partially Molten deals with the topic of disappearance through making it a feature of the narration itself.« Paul Jandl, Neue Zürcher Zeitung

»This novel is constructed cleverly, and the author’s authority with language is revealed in every line.« Karin Janker, Süddeutsche Zeitung

»An artful novel about a search for traces and identities.« HÖRZU

»The search for a lost friend narratively unfolds through clever, chronological jumps.« vormagazin 03|17

Other publications