Agatha

By Anne Cathrine Bomann
Translated by Caroline Waight

Agatha
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THE INTERNATIONAL BESTSELLER

A psychiatrist is counting down towards his upcoming retirement. He lives alone in his childhood home and has neither friends nor family.

Often, he resorts to drawing bird caricatures of his patients instead of taking notes. His social life consists ... Read more


Overview

THE INTERNATIONAL BESTSELLER

A psychiatrist is counting down towards his upcoming retirement. He lives alone in his childhood home and has neither friends nor family.

Often, he resorts to drawing bird caricatures of his patients instead of taking notes. His social life consists of brief conversations with his meticulous secretary Madame Surrugue, who has reigned over the clinic for more than thirty years. The two of them have no relationship outside the office, where everything runs smoothly and uneventfully.

Until one day, that is, when a young German woman called Agatha arrives and demands to see the doctor and he soon realizes that underneath her fragile exterior is a strong and fascinating woman. The doctor and Agatha embark upon a course of therapy together, a process that forces the doctor to confront his fear of true intimacy outside the clinic. But is it too late to reconsider your existence as a 71-year-old?

Anne Cathrine Bomann

Anne Cathrine Bomann lives in Copenhagen, where she divides her time between writing and working as a psychologist. She also played table tennis for Denmark and won the national championship twelve times. Agatha is her debut novel, following two poetry collections. First published in Denmark, it became a word-of-mouth success and has now been translated into twenty-three languages.

Caroline Waight

Caroline Waight is an award-winning literary translator working from Danish and German. Recent publications include The Invention of Ana, The Chestnut Man, and The Gravediggers, forthcoming from Profile in 2020.

Reviews

"The Canadian release of an international bestseller, it packs a lot of punch in its mere 154 pages. It’s beautifully produced with the outline of flowers introducing each new chapter and visually lush inside covers. The narrator’s voice is lovely, almost soothing, as they get set for retirement but embark on one last course of therapy with a new young patient named Agatha. It’s been published in 23 countries — this might be the universal pandemic read we all need. " —Toronto Star

"This short, uplifting book brings us a more fully-realized character than most authors could manage with three times the room, and some painfully hard-won moments of genuine human contact in an arid life. " —The Herald Scotland

"A novella about an elderly psychiatrist in 1940s Paris makes for an unlikely literary phenomenon. But Anne Cathrine Bomann’s debut novel is a quietly uplifting masterpiece. " —Stylist, UK

"Astounding. " —Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung, Germany

"Bomann is a psychologist herself, and…  she effectively makes her case for the importance of opening one’s eyes and heart. " —The Daily Mail, UK

"This short, uplifting book brings us a more fully-realised character than most authors could manage with three times the room, and some painfully hard-won moments of genuine human contact in an arid life. " —The National

"Bringing together two people ill-treated and disillusioned by life, Agatha beguiles with its cozy atmosphere and the immense attention the author gives to the emotions of its sometimes bumbling characters. " —Le Monde, France

"Anne Cathrine Bomann delves into every human relationship’s dark side. She gently and empathically deals with essential questions. " —Corriere della Sera, Italy

Agatha is a small, quiet tale, but as small as it is, as big subjects are treated. … Agatha is filled to the brim with colourful pictures, poetic beauty, profound human understanding, celestial existential philosophy, and a life-changing transformation that filled me with total excitement. I send the sparrow on to the world with my warmest recommendations. ” —Skriv for livet, Denmark

"This slim debut novel by a Danish psychologist is an utter delight… The book is by turns poignant, funny and sad, as the doctor contemplates the twilight of his life and realizes he’s spent innumerable hours helping patients with their dark thoughts, but has never considered his own unhappiness. " —Zoomer Magazine

"I absolutely adored this book and read it in one sitting. " —The Sun, UK

"Charming, funny and packed with insight. " —Irish Times

"A shrewd, skillful tale of loneliness, the search for meaning and a place in the world, and the problems of truly relating to another human being. Bomann is a psychologist herself, and, although her at-a-sitting debut is on the slight side, she effectively makes her case for the importance of opening one’s eyes and heart. "  —The Independent, UK

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