Melanie is a single mother; Heinz relives his life through cassette tapes. Martin is a 30-year-old security guard who is struggling with bachelorhood; Erin is enchanted with her new female neighbor. Meet four of the dozens of residents in the Atlas Building. They gossip about, love, spy on and avoid each other. And, when they hear one day that their beloved building will be demolished, the walls seem thinner than ever. A few of them stick their head in the sand, determined to let the storm pass. Others look for a culprit. Has the secret organization, The Firm, of which no one knows precisely what it does, followed procedures? Will the residents be able to unite against the impending doom? Or, will the ever successful construction mafia easily win again?
What only we hear describes the deeply human ups and downs in the modern city. Deftly, Saskia de Coster, knits the fates of her characters together, with her characteristic, stylistic bravado and humor. What only we hear is her impressive sequel to Us and me, which proved De Coster to be the 21st Century chronicler of human impotence.
Saskia de Coster (1976) is an artist, playwright and regular participant in television debates, but above all she the author of a unique literary oeuvre. Several of her novels (Held (Hero), Dit is van mij (This is from me)) were listed for literary prizes such as the AKO Literature Prize and The Golden Book Owl.
Press comment about What only we hear:
‘Dynamic, new novel.[…] In over three hundred pages of endless nagging of De Coster’s sympathetic soapies I wasn’t bored for a second.’ NRC Handelsblad ****
Press comments about Us and me:
‘The great Flemish Novel is not dead. It is just written by Saskia de Coster. Us and me is a novel that has stayed with me. Rock solid and unforgettable.’ Herman Koch
‘Impressive Bildungsroman and family history. The story is played out in her gorgeous language.’ NRC Handelsblad ****