The composition is the thing seen by everyone living in the living they are doing, they are the composing of the composition that at the time they are living is the composition of the time in which they are living… Gertrude Stein
Loosely based on the life and death of German Green Party leader Petra Kelly, The Martyrs, The Lovers circles the mysteries surrounding the death of Jutta Carroll with her lover Lukas Grimm. Probing Jutta’s origin story, the rise to personal political stardom, and the fall into anxiety and public decline, the novel explores the forces and motivations that drive political passion and activism, and the counterforces, material and psychological, that constantly threaten progress.
“Catherine Gammon’s The Martyrs, The Lovers offers readers Gammon’s characteristically precise, beautiful prose, but there is also a thrilling new uncanniness here. With The Martyrs, The Lovers, Gammon renders humane truth out of fiction based in fact. A Sebaldian pleasure, perhaps related to Maylis de Kerangal’s practice of ‘weav[ing] the documentary as a poem’ in its comfort with unknowableness, and without doubt a thoroughly captivating story of the cruelties of ambition disappointed.” — Gabriel Blackwell, author of Doom Town and CORRECTION
Gabe Blackwell and I have never met but I’ve loved the books of his that I’ve read — most recently Doom Townfrom Zerogram Press — and as editor of the sadly closed The Rupture he published several short pieces of mine. When China Blue came out I asked if he would read an advance copy in the hope for words of recommendation, which he generously gave. Now he offers words of praise again, this time for The Martyrs, The Lovers. And they couldn’t be more beautiful.
“Agency” at Orca : A Literary Journal, November 2021
May we all enjoy!
And while we’re reading, not to be missed (although we’re past the halfway point, the pace remains meditative and unhurried)—take a look at #TolstoyTogether, reading War and Peace with A Public Space, discussions following on Twitter at the hashtag …