Emma Braslavsky

Life Is No Way to Treat an Animal - Novel

Emma Braslavsky
Foto: Emma Braslavsky
© Stefan Klüter

Emma Braslavsky, born in Erfurt in 1971, has been working as a free-lance author and curator since 1999. In 2007, her debut novel Aus dem Sinn was awarded the Uwe-Johnson-Advancement Award as well as the Franz-Tumler-Literary Prize and was nominated for the Buddenbrookhaus Debut Prize. Her second novel, Das Blaue vom Himmel über dem Atlantik, was published in 2008. Life Is No Way to Treat An Animal is her first publication with Suhrkamp Verlag. Emma Braslavsky lives in Berlin.

Rights available

»One of the 20 most important publications of autumn 2016« (Spiegel)


»This story is true. Any resemblance to persons living or dead are no coincidence. Should you recognise yourself within them, be a good sport or direct your complaints to the good Lord.«


Jo, a selfish pseudo-idealist in her mid-thirties, and Jivan, a self-righteous Chauvinist with a serious gambling problem in his mid-forties, find themselves in a relationship contest whose aim it is to determine which of them has more pull and decides the direction in which they should be heading. All the while, Jivan falls victim to his father’s will and his own cowardly self-deception.

In order to make her come to her senses, young Roana is sent to the most desolate volcano of the world by her father. Instead of following his instructions, she sets out on a daring quest in search for the meaning of life. A pristine, stateless island exposed by a hurricane, seemingly a paradise, causes international headlines and hysteria.


»Quirky, eccentric and humorous.« Kim Kindermann, Deutschlandradio Kultur

»If you give in to this narrative universe, the most ludicrous things soon sound completely plausible – but that is the specialty of this highly productive author« Nicole Henneberg, Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung

»Absurd. Funny. Rich in details […] Life Is No Way to Treat an Animal is great fun, first and foremost. What’s more, an astonishingly broad knowledge of the world is condensed in this complex story.« Nina Apin, taz. die tageszeitung

»With gleaming humour, vibrating wit and a great sense for the absurdities of political correctness Braslavsky satirises the world of today and carries it to the extreme.« Maike Albath, Deutschlandfunk

»Emma Braslavsky places the question of new societal models in the centre in such a calm and funny manner like no one else before her.« Josephine Schulz, neues deutschland

»Emma Braslavsky‘s absurd novel, gripping in its craziness, is set in a nightmarishly imagined future […] A matter so bold that it seems as though the greats of sci-fi such as H.P. Lovecraft and Philip K. Dick had conspired with David Foster Wallace at a merry party. […] Every fifth sentence is a bombshell, every new chapter an assault to one’s fantasy.« Peter Henning, Spiegel Online

»Emma Braslavsky narrates all of this in a fast-paced, almost breathless prose that jumps seamlessly from one setting to the next and keeps the abundant plot together neatly. It’s a novel about dreams and hopes, about the absurdity of the modern world, about idealistic goals that fail when faced with reality.« Irene Binal, ORF Ex libris

»a lively, easygoing novel that grips the reader from the first pages onwards thanks to its mixture of comedy and desperation.« Stephanie Rupp, Nürnberger Zeitung


Readers‘ comments

»I was barely able to set the book aside. Was gripped by the style, the perfect characterization of people, by the humour and also the plot.« kopfkino-blog.blogspot.de, 18.11.2016

»The novel develops a flow that entertains, makes you think and that possesses a lot of humour despite its dark vision.« Hauke Harder, Buchhandlung Almut Schmidt, Kiel, 08.11.2016

»A work that literally takes the reader's breath away with ist complexity, its exuberant fantasy and its narrative power.« Buchhandlung »lesen & lesen lassen«, Berlin, 05.10.2016

»In this novel, the author excels with lively ideas, humourous and quirky. With polished style, she gives the readers food for thought on environmental protection, ideologies, alternative lifestyles and much more. […] Life Is No Way to Treat an Animal is an amusing, creative, adventurous, wonderfully delicious reading pleasure that I recommend whole-heartedly.« Ingrid Eßer, www.buchsichten.de, 15.09.2016


Molecular structure of protagonists

Other publications