For readers of Ottessa Moshfegh and Han Kang, a whip-smart, darkly funny, and subversive debut novel in which a woman on the verge of major change addresses her doctor in a stream of consciousness narrative.
In a well-appointed examination in London, a young woman unburdens herself to a certain Dr. Seligman. Though she can barely see above his head, she holds forth about her life and desires, her struggles with her sexuality and identity. Born and raised in Germany, she has been living in London for several years, determined to break free from her family origins and her haunted homeland. But the recent death of her grandfather, and an unexpected inheritance, make it clear that you cannot easily outrun your own shame, whether it be physical, familial, historical, national, or all of the above.
Or can you? With Dr. Seligman’s help, our narrator will find out.
In a monologue that is both deliciously dark and subversively funny, she takes us on a wide-ranging journey from Hitler-centered sexual fantasies and overbearing mothers to the medicinal properties of squirrel tails and the notion that anatomical changes can serve as historical reparation. The Appointment is an audacious debut novel by an explosive new international literary voice, challenging all of our notions of what is fluid and what is fixed, and the myriad ways we seek to make peace with others and ourselves in the 21st century.
“The Appointment is an epic truth bomb, a radical, hilarious roller-coaster, raw and wild as they come. The way this novel delights in itself, taking pleasure in its singularity and perversity, is the perfect antidote to boredom and bullshit. To read stories that are unapologetic is to be granted the courage to be more honest ourselves, which is one way literature actually can save the world.”—Elisa Albert, author of After Birth
“Katharina Volckmer is a wild new talent, and unlike, say, twentieth-century Europe, The Appointment succeeds in justifying its obscenities." —Joshua Cohen, author of The Book of Numbers
“I tore through this—the galley is dog-eared and battered. It is surprising, inventive, disturbing and beautiful. I inhaled all its meanness and rancor at the beginning, which felt like a breath of fresh air. Even though I knew it would eventually turn, I was surprised and moved when it did. The Appointment is an overdue, radical intervention." —Chris Kraus, author of I Love Dick