“A masterful examination of internal conflict, gratifying for readers inspired by ecofiction and literary theory. . . . Inner explorations transform into a Weltanschauung of epiphany and new understanding of love, death, and the natural world.”
“[Moss] taps into a host of humanitarian and ecological concerns, even as it reminds the reader of the complex web of connections humans dwell within.”
Words Without Borders
“A graceful, thought-provoking portrait of memory and mortality.”
“Thoughtful and thought-provoking.”
Midwest Book Review( link)
“The protagonist of Modick’s quietly stunning novel is a renowned botanist who only in the last nine months of his long life truly understands the lessons of his obsession. . . . Presented as an addendum to the professor’s magnum opus, this diary-like narrative operates with the slow power and lyricism of true discovery.”
Laurie Greer, Politics and Prose Bookstore (Washington, DC)
An aging botanist withdraws to the seclusion of his family’s vacation home in the German countryside. In his final days, he realizes that his life’s work of scientific classification has led him astray from the hidden secrets of the natural world. As his body slows and his mind expands, he recalls his family’s escape from budding fascism in Germany, his father’s need to prune and control, and his tender moments with first loves. But as his disintegration into moss begins, his fascination with botany culminates in a profound understanding of life’s meaning and his own mortality.
Visionary and poetic, Moss explores our fundamental human desires for both transcendence and connection and serves as a testament to our tenuous and intimate relationship with nature.
Moss is translated from the German by David Herman.
Reading Group Choices “Editors’ Pick” selection
Words Without Borders “Watchlist” selection
Brookline Booksmith “Transnational” selection
Politics and Prose Bookstore Staff Pick