Blog tour: The High-Rise Diver

Welcome to the blog tour for The High-Rise Diver by Julia Von Lucadou, translated from the German by Sharmila Cohen.

More about the book…

Riva is a “high-rise diver,” a top athlete with millions of fans, and a perfectly functioning human on all levels. Suddenly she rebels, breaking her contract and refusing to train. Cameras are everywhere in her world, but she doesn’t know her every move is being watched by Hitomi, the psychologist tasked with reining Riva back in.

Unquestionably loyal to the system, Hitomi’s own life is at stake: should she fail to deliver, she will be banned to the “peripheries,” the filthy outskirts of society. For readers of The Handmaid’s Tale, The Circle, and Brave New World, this chilling dystopia constructs a world uncomfortably close to our own, in which performance is everything.

More about the author…

Julia von Lucadou was born in Heidelberg in 1982. She studied film and theater at Johannes Gutenberg University of Mainz and Victoria University of Wellington and earned her PhD in Film Studies in 2015. Lucadou worked as both an assistant director and a television editor prior to writing The High-Rise Diver, her debut novel, which was nominated for the Swiss Book Prize in 2018. She lives between Biel, New York, and Cologne.

More about the translator…

Sharmila Cohen is an award-winning writer and German-to-English translator who has translated the works of several leading German-language authors. Her work has been featured in publications such as BOMB and Harpers, and her projects span from poetry and literary fiction to crime and children’s stories. Originally from New York, Cohen came to Berlin in 2011 as a Fulbright Scholar to complete an experimental translation project with local poets. She now divides her time between both cities.

My impressions…

How did this book end up in my hands? I received a copy of the book from the publisher so that I could join the blog tour.

Was it a page-turner? It was a page-turner, but in a claustrophobic kind of way. Does that make sense? Basically, I couldn’t put it down but, at the same time, I also needed to take breaks because I could feel the space around me getting smaller and smaller as Hitomi’s world seemed to be slipping away from her.

Did the book meet my expectations? I think I expected more of a background story to understand how society got to the point described in the book. However, despite some similarities with The Handmaid’s Tale, this is a different book, and very much character-driven.

Three words to describe it. Unsettling. Addictive. Thought-provoking.

Do I like the cover? It is beautifully elegant and the first thing that attracted me to this book.

Have I read any other books by the same author? This is the author’s debut novel and I highly hope that her next book (and the next, and the one after that…) will be translated as well!

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